According to a study that featured almost 160,000 women with a variety of backgrounds and races, higher optimism levels are linked to living longer!
In fact, it turns out that if you are more optimistic, you are raising your chances of living past the age of 90!
The research was recently published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society and accounted for other lifestyle factors that could have also contributed to the results, including physical activity, diet, BMI, alcohol consumption, smoking and more.
Postdoctorial student at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the lead author of the study, Hayami Koga, stated that “Although optimism itself may be patterned by social structural factors, our findings suggest that the benefits of optimism for longevity might hold across racial and ethnic groups. Optimism might be an important target of intervention for longevity across diverse groups.”
While seemingly revolutionary, this is not the first time that a study like this proves a link between life expectancy and optimism.
Another research paper from 2019 also concluded that, whether men or women, those with the highest levels of optimism registered an 11 to 15 percent longer life span than those who were more pessimistic.
More precisely, the most optimistic of optimists were likely to live at least past the age of 85.
The study concluded that this was the case regardless of other factors such as health conditions, socioeconomic status, smoking, depression, social engagement, alcohol consumption and a poor diet.
Of course, sometimes it feels like it can be hard to be optimistic but in reality, optimism does not mean completely ignoring whatever negative things life may throw at you.
Instead, optimistic people are just less likely to blame themselves for whatever happens and perceive whatever obstacle as just temporary or even a positive learning experience.
They also believe that they have more control over their lives and are able to create opportunities for more positive things to take place in the future.
Other studies out there have also made it clear that optimism improves people’s health as well.
In other words, there is an apparent direct connection between optimism and sticking to a healthier diet and an exercise routine.
Not only that but it can even lead to better cardiac health, better lung function, a stronger immune system and, as a result, a lower mortality risk.