These are the surprising ways that happiness is linked to health

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The dark and dreary winter months can be a real downer, but try to stay positive. Science indicates that people who are optimistic may have a better chance of avoiding illnesses like diabetes, heart attacks, strokes, and depression.

Moreover, people who have positive attitudes about aging actually live on average 7 1/2 years longer than those who are dreading old age, according to studies referenced in this infographic by the creators at Happify. (Of course, it's a two-way street: Part of this link may be because people who do have health issues are generally unhappy and stressed.)

Staying positive can sometimes take some work, however. Check out some of the tips scientists have for keeping an optimistic outlook on life, which will keep you happier and healthier through this winter and many more.

NOW WATCH: Here's The Formula For A Long And Happy Life From A 100-Year-Old Math Teacher

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