Optimism is key to a long life, study finds

A representative image. — IE University

An American study revealed that optimism – the ability to think positive – is the key to a long life in women.

The study looked at the lives of 160,000 women between the ages of 50 and 79 and the results were recorded over a period of 26 years.

Participants first ranked their optimism, and the researchers divided the group into optimists and pessimists based on the ranking.

In 2019, researchers followed participants, living and deceased. They concluded that the most optimistic participants were more likely to experience “exceptional longevity”, with the possibility of reaching their 90s.

Amazingly, the study results still hold despite educational background, economic status, ethnicity, mental health, and chronic health conditions.

Generally, people who think positively are able to handle stress effectively and can therefore control biological stress responses, such as higher secretion of cortisol, also known as the “stress hormone”, which increases heart rate and blood pressure.

The study researchers mentioned that their future research will investigate their findings in “shorter-lived populations.”

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