A Positive Attitude Could Make You Live Longer

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by Rebecca Cope |
Published on

Good news if you're more of a 'glass half full' person (although, isn't everything good news when you're that way inclined?). A new study has found that optimistic women are more likely to live longer.

A study conducted by the American Journal of Epidemiology found that those with a positive mental attitude were far less susceptible to deadly diseases in later life, including fatal cancers, lung conditions, heart disease and strokes.

The survey monitored over 70,000 healthy female nurses between the ages of 58 to 83 over a period of 8 years, asking them at the outset how optimistic they were. Those with a positive outlook had a far lower risker of death, even when other factors were taken into consideration, such as whether the woman had a family history of health issues or came from a poorer background.

Incredibly, the study found that the most positive women were 39% less likely to die of a stroke and 38% less likely to develop heart disease.

The research shows that having a positive mental attitude can have an astounding affect on our physical wellbeing, too.

"While most medical and public health efforts today focus on reducing risk factors for diseases, evidence has been mounting that enhancing psychological resilience may also make a difference," explained the survey's co-author Dr. Eric Kim of the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

"Our new findings suggest that we should make efforts to boost optimism, which has been shown to be associated with healthier behaviours and healthier ways of coping with life challenges."

So what are you waiting for? Time to let go of your inner critic and embrace a more positive mental attitude in 2017...

SEE MORE: 5 books to help master your inner critic

SEE MORE: 12 things you need to let go of in 2017

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