Optimism Can Prolong Your Life Span

Cadrene Heslop

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According to a study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, there is a link between optimism and longer life spans. The research found that optimistic people have a greater chance of living past 85. Researchers controlled chronic physical conditions like hypertension. And health behaviors like alcohol and smoking.

The results are from two tests. The Life Orientation Test analyzed optimism. It asked respondents to rate their agreement with statements about happiness. The Optimism-Pessimism Scale test was a part of a personality assessment to assess if participants saw life events as negative or positive.

People with a positive outlook are more likely to live longer. These individuals expect good things will happen to them. Have a light view of situations or high hopes for their future.

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Can you be too optimistic?

Yes. In a study spanning 80 years with 1,500 participants, the opposite happened. Researchers found that happy-go-lucky people live shorter lives.

"One of the findings that really astounds people, including us, is that participants who were the most cheerful and had the best sense of humor lived shorter lives, on average than those who were less cheerful and joking. It was the most prudent and persistent individuals who stayed healthiest and lived the longest."

People who are content and satisfied with their lives take more risks. As such, very cheerful people tend to risk their health. Although optimism is a helpful coping mechanism, too much can make you careless. Plus, it causes you to get easily ripped off.

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There are advantages to being a happy, lighthearted person. But a balance between optimism and persistence helps you live longer.

What do you think? Leave a comment with your thoughts. And if you think more people should read this article, share it on social media.

*Medical Advice Disclaimer: This information, including but not limited to text, graphics, images, and other material contained in this article are for informational purposes only. No material in this article is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.*

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