"Keep in mind positives go with both kinds of well-being," Fredrickson said. "But emotions you feel today ... really will effect who you are at a cellular level."
The study didn't get at why the two kinds of well-being have different genetic impacts, but Cole has a theory.
"Hedonic well-being is dependent on your taking self-involved action to constantly feed this positive emotion machine," he said. "If something threatens your ability to seek out this kind of personal happiness -- if you get injured, for instance, or you experience a loss -- your entire source of well-being is threatened. You are living closer to the edge of that kind of stress.
"But if you find well-being in the connections you have to others and in pursuing something that involves collaborating with other people, if in that circumstance you get sick or injured or suffer a personal loss, that community you've worked so hard to connect to, they will help you get through."