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Optimists Have the Edge

By on June 11, 2012

So you have an Optimist, a Pessimist, and a Realist walk into a doctors office wanting to know if they live a ripe old age. The doctor says to the Optimist, “come back next week and let’s discuss it.” Doc tells the Realist to “come back tomorrow and they can hash it out.” Then he turns to the Pessimist and says, “let’s talk fast, while you can walk outta here.”

Seems many of us consider thinking positively helps you to be more successful and to get through life’s hard situations. According to new research positive life vision increases your lifespan. The study was performed at Carnegie Mellon University. One hundred and ninety-three healthy individuals between ages of 18 and 55 were willing to participate in the study. They were given medications containing some kind of flu viruses.  Volunteers were evaluated in accordance with their emotional attitude to life –whether positive or negative.

The tissues that participants used after developing the infection symptoms were collected in order mucous production to be compared.  And so people with positive attitude to life produced less mucous and they also had fewer symptoms.

And a 30-year study of 447 people at the Mayo Clinic studied people with optimistic life vision (whatever that is?) and found they had a 50% lower risk to die early than those with pessimistic one. So we can plainly see that a positive attitude, a positive life vision and a sense of humor might play a role in living a  longer, healthier life. But there’s more recent research to prove the point.

Dr. Nil Barzilai, director of the Albert Einstein College of  Medicine’s Institute for Aging Research in New York, and colleagues developed a  questionnaire designed to identify certain genetically based personality traits,  and used it to assess 243 Ashkenazi Jewish adults ages 95-107. Barzilai said the researchers chose this population because of genetic  similarity to make it easier to account for genetic differences in  personality.

The study, published in the journal Aging, found those who lived to a ripe  old age had a positive attitude for life. They were optimistic, easygoing,  extroverted, laughed more and expressed emotions — and they were less neurotic  and more conscientious than a representative sample of other Americans. And given the age of the participants, they had obviously endured serious problems in life.

The matter of a positive attitude has even been studied globally, according to a Dutch study – researchers examined the attitudes and longevity of 999 individuals aged 65; they found that there is a relationship between positive attitude and morality. So collectively there is theoretical and scientific proof that a positive attitude or positive thinking can have significant favorable impact on your lifespan, morality, and even social status.


I’m not sure anyone will say that 100% optimists live longer than pessimists but I bet the optimists have an easier life. Don’t worry, Be Happy.

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