Optimists live longer?

Do those who believe "Don't worry, be happy" live longer?


Pessimism About the Future May Lead to Longer, Healthier Life, Research Finds

WASHINGTON-Older people who have low expectations for a satisfying future may be more likely to live longer, healthier lives than those who see brighter days ahead, according to new research published by the American Psychological Association.

"Our findings revealed that being overly optimistic in predicting a better future was associated with a greater risk of disability and death within the following decade," said lead author Frieder R. Lang, PhD, of the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in Germany.

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Being optimistic after heart attack may help with recovery

"It's true! Optimists do live longer," is the slightly misleading headline from the Mail Online.

The study it reports on actually looked at the effects of optimism on physical and emotional health in 369 people recovering from a heart attack or unstable angina ( angina that does not respond to medication), rather than overall lifespan.

The participants were assessed for their level of optimism, depressive symptoms and physical health.

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A Brighter Outlook Could Translate To A Longer Life

Older women who look on the bright side of life were less likely to die in the next several years than their peers who weren't as positive about the future.

The research, published Wednesday in the American Journal of Epidemiology, is the latest to find an association between a positive sense of well-being and better health, though it's not yet clear whether one causes the other.

In this study, researchers used data from 70,021 women who were part of the long-running Nurses' Health Study, looking at their level of optimism as assessed by a brief, validated questionnaire in 2004.

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