Optimism may hold secret to longer life, study suggests

“Dr Catherine Hurt, an expert in health psychology at City, University of London, said the study highlighted the importance of psychological wellbeing alongside physical wellbeing for living a long and healthy life.”

The Guardian newspaper reports:

“Seeing the glass as half full may mean a longer life, according to research suggesting that optimists not only live longer in general, but have a better chance of reaching 85 or older.

It is not the first time optimism has been linked to health benefits. People of an upbeat disposition have previously been found to have a lower risk of heart conditions and premature death. Researchers now say it could also play a role in living a long life.

The team behind the study say their findings could also be cause for cheer.

‘A lot of evidence suggests that exceptional longevity is usually accompanied by a longer span of good health and living without disability, so our findings raise an exciting possibility that we may be able to promote healthy and resilient ageing by cultivating psychosocial assets such as optimism,’ said Lewina Lee, the lead author of the study at Boston University School of Medicine.

While such a possibility has yet to be tested, Lee noted that other studies have shown optimism levels can be raised …”

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