A research study just published by Boston University and Harvard researchers has found a link between optimism and longevity (published 8/26/2019). They note:
“Optimism is a psychological attribute characterized as the general expectation that good things will happen, or the belief that the future will be favorable because one can control important outcomes. Previous studies reported that more optimistic individuals are less likely to suffer from chronic diseases and die prematurely. Our results further suggest that optimism is specifically related to 11 to 15% longer life span, on average, and to greater odds of achieving “exceptional longevity,” that is, living to the age of 85 or beyond. These relations were independent of socioeconomic status, health conditions, depression, social integration, and health behaviors (e.g., smoking, diet, and alcohol use). Overall, findings suggest optimism may be an important psychosocial resource for extending life span in older adults.”
Here’s link to piece from NPR about the research: https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2019/09/01/755185560/optimists-for-the-win-finding-the-bright-side-might-help-you-live-longer
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