Modern medicine is pretty amazing. The things we can do to save people was quite profound. Working in the hospital I see it every.single.day. But one thing that is so striking is how I can walk into the room of a 60 year old and be starting a conversation about going to a nursing home and then I can walk into the room of an 87 year old and talk about discharge plans for home. Many factors play into how these two people ended up in very different places. But a recent study found some pretty profound correlations between attitude and longevity.
This study looked at thousands of men and women over a span of 10 years (the women) and 30 years (the men). They controlled for all types of things, like medical issues and income. They even adjusted for physical activity and lifestyle. The study found that people who were more optimistic added 6 years to their life! This is huge!
So what is optimism?
Optimism is having a general positive view on life and the future. When something bad happens, optimists see there can be a positive spin. They see that this negative thing won’t last forever. They acknowledge the reality of what is in front of them, even if it something life changing. They don’t let an event define their life. They know and believe that life goes. They focus on what they have control over instead of letting something out of their control direct their life.
Are you an optimist?
Want to see just how optimistic you are? Take a quiz here
Looking for ways to increase your optimism?
Some Words to Live By –
If you’re a science nerd like me, feel free to read the whole study here – https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1900712116.