Here in the United States, everyone strives to be happier. And, Americans work really hard at staying happy.
There are techniques—like meditation, eating healthy, and working out—that lots of folks do daily to not only stay healthy, but better their quality of life in general. And when that’s not working, it’s relatively common to seek medication: The US uses more antidepressants than any other country in the world. But according to a new study, not all regions of the globe correlate happiness to be healthiness.
After analyzing the blood-lipid levels of 1,017 Americans and 374 Japanese people, researchers found that higher happiness levels had an association with improved health in the US but not in Japan. Blood lipid levels are a way to gauge heart health.
“In American cultures, experiencing positive emotions is seen as desirable and is even encouraged via socialization,” lead study author Jiah Yoo told The Cut. “But in East Asian cultures, people commonly view positive emotions as having dark sides. They are fleeting, may attract unnecessary attention from others, and can be a distraction from focusing on important tasks.”