Secret to Longevity: Optimism

If chipper and optimistic people annoy you, here's a finding that will make you hate them even more: they'll outlive everyone else ...

A study of 100,000 women presented at the American Psychosomatic Society's annual meeting Thursday found a strong correlation between optimism and a person's risk for cancer-related death, heart disease and early death.

Researchers surveyed the personality traits of middle-age women in 1994 as part of the Women's Health Initiative study run by the National Institutes of Health.

Eight years later, researchers found that the self-reported optimistic women were less likely to have died for any reason and had a 30 percent lower death rate from heart disease.

Meanwhile, women scoring high on the hostile scales had a higher general death rate and a 23 percent greater risk of dying from a cancer-related condition by the end of the study.


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@FreakyPB - Well, a basic logic rule is that correlation does not imply causation. So that much is true. But as to your example, this study was done with people who called themselves optimists MANY years ago, so we know they were optimistic (or not) prior to their condition. (thus, the pessimists who died of cancer in this study were proven to be pessimists prior to getting the condition)
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There is a correlation but I think the guys doing the study are mistaking cause and effect.

Try to see it this way: are you more likely to get cancer because you're a pessimist... or more likely to be a pessimist because you have got cancer?
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It's hard to trust studies like this, but it makes sense that the optimistic would live longer lives/have a higher quality of life. When you are positive, more positive things tend to happen. I know that my life began to change for the better when I abandoned negativity. I have never looked back. If I die at fifty or one hundred, I can honestly say that I have made the best of it.
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