Could laughter really be the best medicine? Continuing with our Four Pillars of Health, we wanted to look into how having a positive attitude and positive outlook on life can affect our health. Interestingly enough, these qualities are found to increase longevity in several cases.
A compelling study conducted on centenarians investigated the population’s outlook on life through an emotional screening survey. The surveys found that the centenarians all possessed similar optimistic emotional traits, drawing the conclusion that positive attitudes, lacking neurotic tendencies, lead to a longer life.
Being in a sad or depressive state can also take a toll on your immune system. Another study found that after taking a personality style evaluation and being exposed to a respiratory virus, participants who scored in the positive personality range became less likely to develop the virus symptoms.
Having a positive outlook on life can also reduce stress, anxiety and their effects. Stress has been linked to heart attacks and other coronary problems. By staying positive in every situation and learning not to sweat the small stuff, the risk for heart issues is decreased.
Along with positive outlook on life, being young and jovial at heart has also been linked to longevity. One study found that self-perceived age was associated with higher mortality. Individuals were interviewed and asked how old the felt versus how old they actually were. The majority of participants reported that they felt younger than their actual age. After reviewing these numbers against their health statuses, the study found that self-perceived age emulates appraisals of health, physical limitations, and well-being.
Feeling young at heart, having a positive attitude, and an overall positive outlook on life all affect your health and essentially, the longevity of your life. With so many things that are out of our control in this life, we have the choice to control our attitudes and how we react in all situations. Life is too short, so we should all make an effort to enjoy it and make it last as long as we can. Stay positive and young at heart, friends!