Research finds health benefits in high moral character
Being good is good for you, say Harvard University researchers that explored the role of character in physical and mental health.
In a study of more than 1,200 U.S. adults, a team of researchers from Harvard University found that that acting with high moral character is associated with a lower risk of depression, and may have cardiovascular benefits as well.
“For us, the aim was to look for unconventional health resources — positive factors that may be influential for health and well-being — and character strength is one example,” said Dorota Weziak-Bialowolska, a co-author of the findings.
“What was quite interesting was the association between delayed gratification and health outcomes. We found an association with depression, but also with anxiety and cardiovascular disease,,” he added.
“In health studies we know that delayed gratification is good. When you think about health behaviors like smoking or drinking, if you can refrain from them, you can expect that it will be good for you.”