by Sunil Bali, 13-12-15

So,”tis the season to be jolly”.

But psychologist Professor Barbara Fredrickson argues that the benefits of spreading a little love and being jolly are much greater than you might think, and shouldn’t just be restricted to the festive season.

In her book "Love 2.0", Fredrickson concludes that to go further in life you need to increase your smiles per hour. She argues that over-thinking and seriousness is a disease that not only stifles creativity and problem solving, but is also detrimental to your health.

As Einstein said, "I never made one of my discoveries through the process of rational thinking."

Fredrickson’s prescription to increase your happiness is quite simple: Give people a piece of your heart rather than a piece of your mind.

UCLA cardiologist Professor Dean Ornish goes further and writes in his book "Love and Survival", that “no other factor in medicine, not diet, not smoking, not exercise, not stress, not genetics, not drugs, not surgery, affects our health, and quality and length of life more than feeling loved and cared for. The best medicine for the heart is love. If you find its not working, increase the dose.”

When asked for his No. 1 beauty tip Ornish’s colleague, UCLA Professor of Plastic Surgery, Brian Boyd replied, “Just smile and be yourself. Being authentic and comfortable in your own skin is the most powerful aphrodisiac known to mankind.”

I’ll leave the last word on the subject to the great playwright Samuel Beckett, who summed it up perfectly when he said, “Dance first, think later. Its the natural order.”


A doctor on his morning walk, noticed a wrinkled old lady sitting on her front step smoking a cigar, with a huge smile on her face.

"I couldn’t help but notice how happy you look! What’s your secret?" asked the doctor.

"Every day I smoke ten cigars, drink a bottle of wine and eat pizzas and burgers. I’ve never done any exercise since the day I left school," replied the old lady.

"That’s absolutely amazing! You must have inherited some great genes. May I ask how old you are?" asked the doctor.

"Thirty-four," she replied.