A new study published in Journal of the American Geriatrics Society followed a group of nearly 160,000 women and found that optimists are likely to live longer than 90 compared to pessimists.
The team concluded that optimism is related to the increase in life expectancy by 5.4%, ie which is equivalent to adding 4.4 years to life on average. In addition, an analysis of the findings showed that women in the most optimistic group were 10% more likely to live after 90 years than those in the least optimistic group.
The results were maintained even when factors such as depression, chronic health conditions and social and economic background were taken into account.
Experts further add that exercise is widely recognized as an important factor in health and studies show that regularity of physical activity adds 0.4 to 4.2 years of age. Thus, the findings suggest that the impact of optimism on health could be comparable to the impact of active living.
Although lifestyle factors, such as women’s ability to exercise or choose healthy foods, have had some impact on outcomes, researchers have suggested that other factors are at play.
This may include species support networks that people have experiencing difficult times and their own ability to solve problems and minimize risks to their own health.
How to be more optimistic?
It is believed to be optimismis a trait that can be easily learned, with relatively simple and cheap interventions. That is, if a person has been pessimistic most of his life, it does not mean that he is destined to stay that way forever. Discover five ways to stimulate optimism and start seeing a “half-full glass”:
1. Change your perspective
Changing perspectives can be simple and effective. More pessimistic people tend to look at things through a negative lens, but it’s important to always keep that in mind there is another way of looking at the situationwhat experts call “positive transformation.”
For example, an individual might complain that he ruined an entire day because it was raining. in such cases, how about you think about what you have gained during that time. He probably had time to relax, read or spend quality time with someone he loved.
Investing this conscious effort not only changes our short-term view, but it can actually train the brain to think more positively.
2. Hang out with optimistic people
Emotions can be contagious, both negative and positive. Try to notice who you spend time with on a daily basis, and if you start connecting with more optimistic people, you will probably be influenced by this energy as well.
The same goes for the time you spend with pessimistic people. The more contact with negativity, the more negativity you can feel.
3. Write what you are grateful for
Gratitude is able to promote a more optimistic outlook on life. A good technique is to write down the things you are grateful for every day, at the end of the day. This applies to events of any nature: it can be a cup of coffee, a generous act or a walk on the beach.
If you have this habit, it will allow you you focus on the positive things of your day and cultivate an optimistic mindset. In addition, it is worth writing about personal and professional achievements, creating a healthy sense of self-esteem and increasing self-confidence. When we feel confident, we are more optimistic.
4. Recognize what you can – or can’t – control
While some people may not be able to cope with uncertainty, Positive people are able to adapt and progress. Accept what you can and cannot control in a given situation.
For example, if you have lost your job, you cannot control the fact that you have been fired. However, you have complete control over the steps you can take to find a new job.
5. Don’t forget the negative
It is worth remembering that you are trying to being more optimistic does not necessarily mean that life is a “bed of roses”. While it is extremely good for our mental health to see the positive in situations, not acknowledging the negative can be detrimental.
Optimism may not be good when a person is trapped in a fantasy and in denying the current reality. You may be optimistic about finding a more lucrative job or relationship, but if you don’t address the issues that are holding you back from those goals, you won’t be able to create what you want.
A combination of optimism and realism can help. But realistic thinking doesn’t mean you never see the bright side of life, it’s simply a way to support your optimism in the steps of action so you can create a positive future instead of getting stuck in fantasy.