Think optimism is over-rated? Perhaps a recent study that found a link between optimism and longevity will change your mind.
Researchers in the Netherlands set out to determine if optimistic people live longer than their more pessimistic counterparts. Approximately 1,000 elderly men and women between the ages of 65-85 were interviewed about their health, self-respect, morale, optimism and contacts, or relationships.
Results: During a nine-year follow-up period, researchers discovered that participants who reported higher levels of optimism were 55 percent less likely to die from any cause and 23 percent less likely to die from cardiovascular-related causes than the pessimistic group. Researchers cited several possible reasons for the correlations between optimism and longevity, including that happier people tend to engage in more physical activity and handle stress better than pessimists.
Want to increase your chances for a longer and healthier life? Try changing your outlook. And remember, things like exercise, nutrition and regular chiropractic care can help bring about positive changes in the mind and body -- changes that can potentially be life-saving.
Giltay EJ, Geleijnse JM, Zitman FG, et. al. Dispositional optimism and all-cause and cardiovascular mortality in a prospective cohort of elderly Dutch men and women. Archives of General Psychiatry. 2004 Nov 61(11): 1126-35.
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