Are you optimistic in life? If the answer is no then it is time that you include a hell lot of optimism in life for optimistic individuals stay healthy and live longer.
A Boston University research has recently said that individuals with greater optimism live longer than the ones with a lesser share of optimism in life.
“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,” reported IANS quoting Lewina Lee, Assistant Professor at the Boston University.
“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,” Lee further added.
The study was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The study was carried out on 69,744 women and 1,429 men.
“Both groups completed survey measures to assess their level of optimism, as well as their overall health and health habits such as diet, smoking and alcohol use,” informed Lee.
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During the study, the women were followed for 10 years and men for 30 years.
“When individuals were compared based on their initial levels of optimism, we found that the most optimistic men and women demonstrated an 11 to 15 per cent longer lifespan on average,” informed Lee.
“Moreover, they were found to have 50-70 per cent greater odds of reaching the age of 85 compared to the least optimistic groups,” added professor Lee.
Age, demographic factors such as educational attainment, chronic diseases, depression and health behaviours, alcohol use, exercise, diet and primary care visits were taken into consideration while calculating the results.
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“However, exactly why optimistic people appear to live longer is still up for debate,” Lee said.
The researchers are of the view that optimistic individuals have healthier habits like they exercise more and keep themselves away (mostly) from smoking and drinking and this extends their lifespan.