It’s probably fair to say that most people would like to live longer. Not just longer than they’ve lived already: longer than they would be destined to live if they lived less long. For we who fall into this popular category, a recent study from the US has good news.
The research, combining work from the Nurses’ Health Study and the Veterans’ Affairs Normative Ageing Study, took in a whopping 71,173 people, so it’s a biggie, which makes its conclusions hard to argue with. And those conclusions are: feeling good equals living longer.
For a given value of “feeling good”, anyway. The results of the study show that an optimistic outlook on life is associated with greater longevity of up to fifteen percent – that could be ten years extra living just by staying positive. Optimism was found to have this effect regardless of factors like healthy lifestyle, socioeconomic status and social integration.
So good news, right? All you need to do is feel good about life and you’ll live longer. And the great thing is, the fact that having an optimistic outlook makes you live longer is just the kind of thing that is likely to give you an optimistic outlook. Unless you’re already super pessimistic, in which case the fact that pessimism shortens lifespan will probably really bum you out.
So get happy, guys – it’ll pay off in the long run.