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Is optimism the key to a long life?

Looking on the bright side of life could help you live longer.

Scientists say people with greater optimism are more likely to live longer and to achieve “exceptional longevity” – living to 85 or older.

Lewina Lee, assistant professor of psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine in the US, said: “While research has identified many risk factors for diseases and premature death, we know relatively less about positive psychosocial factors that can promote healthy ageing.

“This study has strong public health relevance because it suggests that optimism is one such psychosocial asset that has the potential to extend the human lifespan.

“Interestingly, optimism may be modifiable using relatively simple techniques or therapies.”

The new study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, was based on 69,744 women from the Nurses’ Health Study and 1,429 men from the Veterans Affairs Normative Aging Study.

The women were aged between 58 and 86 when they completed an optimism assessment in 2004, and their mortality status was tracked through to 2014.

The men’s age range was 41 to 90 when they completed an optimism assessment in 1986, and their mortality status was tracked through to 2016.

When researchers compared the participants, based on their initial levels of optimism, they found that on average the most optimistic men and women had an 11% to 15% longer lifespan.

They also had a 50% to 70% greater odds of reaching the age of 85, compared with the least optimistic groups.

However, the researchers are unclear on how exactly optimism helps people live longer.

They point to other analysis suggesting that more optimistic people may be able to regulate emotions and behaviour, and bounce back from stressors and difficulties more effectively.

Dr Lee added: “Our study contributes to scientific knowledge on health assets that may protect against mortality risk and promote resilient ageing.

“We hope that our findings will inspire further research on interventions to enhance positive health assets that may improve the public’s health with ageing.”

What do you think – is optimism the key to a long and happy life? Do you try and stay optimistic? Share your views at Speakers Corner 

Is optimism the key to a long life?

193 people have already voted, what's your opinion? Yes No

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lonewolf56
16th Jan 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
I come from a family of grudge holders and Debbie Downers. In recent years I have made a concerted effort to see the glass half full rather than half empty. This sounds trite, but it really works!
Loyalty
12th Jan 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
god help me then!
i've been put down most of my life. so have got to think i must be no good. worthless! now i'm a pessimist! hate it.
it's people that's made me like this! not my fault. that's how i feel any way.
CaroB4
25th Dec 2019
1
Thanks for voting!
I think being positive goes a long way! Living with a negative person can be very debilitating...and must affect relationships.
Always look on the bright side of life! Don't let the sour and spiteful bring you down....the problem is theirs. :
Leave them to it!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone who is spending this time alone! At least we can watch whatever we want on TV...eat what we want and put our feet up when we have had enough! A couple of dogs wearing their Christmas jumpers always amuses and brings smiles...which costs nothing!

My husband a motto which kept him going for nearly another 3 years...B-Positive! His blood group!
VeraS
6th Dec 2019
2
Thanks for voting!
Yes if you walk about with a miserable face you will have a miserable life
swaneldo
22nd Nov 2019
3
Thanks for voting!
Yes - also, letting everyone get on with life in their own way as long as it doesn't hurt anyone. If you look for good and beauty, you'll find it and it will find you.
suggsy1
23rd Nov 2019
2
Thanks for voting!
Yes, I agree, we should all be able to do anything as long as we don't hurt anyone. Do many people chat on here-it's my first time?
suggsy1
23rd Nov 2019
0
Thanks for voting!
How do you know if someone has replied or wants to chat please?
swaneldo
23rd Nov 2019
0
Thanks for voting!
Not sure about chatting - but if someone leaves a comment / chat then you should get an email through. It's a good site with lots going on of interest
CaroB4
25th Dec 2019
0
Thanks for voting!
You can chat on here as we are doing now...under particular subject matter. If you wish to chat separately to someone choose "Private chat with..." box..which takes you to a separate page ..where you can add a message directly (scroll down to bottom of page to do this). I think many of us have problems with this! I received "Want to chat" messages which I respond to ...despite no message being left...can see a name alongside...so think many people still haven't cracked it! Can be difficult to go back to the correct page again too! Persevere is all I can say! Are you listening "Sergio"? lol!
PatriciaM56
13th Nov 2019
0
Thanks for voting!
My proverbs life is for living,!! my father told me when I had 75% of passing that us M.... are fighters which I have often had to think off when going through a bad medical time .
jeandiane
8th Nov 2019
0
Thanks for voting!
It seems so but unfortunate I’m a pessimist
CateyM
12th Oct 2019
0
Thanks for voting!
I have always tried to adopt a positive attitude throughout my life. I don’t see the point of worrying about things until I have something to worry about.
alexross
20th Sep 2019
1
Thanks for voting!
As you think in your heart, so shall you be! Proverbs?
alexross
20th Sep 2019
1
Thanks for voting!
Yes! Proverbs 23:7....!
MrsPat
5th Sep 2019
1
Thanks for voting!
Well it is a bit stupid being pessimistic which I know a few friends of mine are-naming no names!
VeraS
3rd Sep 2019
1
Thanks for voting!
It cant do any harm
DipsyDitsy
1st Sep 2019
3
Thanks for voting!
''always look on the bright side of life'' (Monty Python)
Tr1sh
31st Aug 2019
1
Thanks for voting!
I certainly think it helps!
WendyT26
30th Aug 2019
3
Thanks for voting!
Yodama
29th Aug 2019
4
Thanks for voting!
There is nothing new in this great idea.

What you think, you become.
What you feel, you attract.
What you imagine. you create.

Buddha
Wilf
29th Aug 2019
4
Thanks for voting!
I am pleased to say I am optimistic so hopefully will be around on this lovely world for a long time still!
Bald123
28th Aug 2019
3
Thanks for voting!
Yes without a doubt! As a born optimist I think this is true. My family are all optimistic and have had some downers in life but just pull themselves together and get on with it. They are also lucky enough to be living into their high 80's and 90's as well. That is the proof of the pudding as they say.

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