Positive Thinkers Live Longer!

You may not have realized it but thinking positive thoughts have been found to have a variety of health benefits. Not only does it help you fight stress, it also improves your immune system, and reduces the risk of heart disease. In fact, researchers are finding that positive thinking might just be the tool to help you live longer.

The Insights Of Aging

We may live in a society that places value on beauty and youth, while highlighting the negative aspects of aging, but… with age comes insight. The older we get the wiser we are (okay, so there are exceptions to this rule, but for the most part it’s true) and that maturity that we gain helps us age like fine wine. We tend to be more in touch with who we are and understand just how important life is, and how living healthily can not only extend our lifespan but preserve health.

What we know is that the people who are looking forward to aging (instead of dreading it) are giving themselves the best chance to live a longer life. Instead of dreading every birthday that increases your count by one you should look forward to it.

According to Yale University, being able to change your perception about aging while you’re still young can have an incredible effect on your lifespan.

Resiliency

We may not yet know why or how a positive attitude has such an effect on life expectancy, but the researchers believe it may be to do with positive thinking increasing someone’s will to live. It means they are more resilient when it comes to illnesses and more mindful about looking after their health and wellness. Of course, it may also be something to do with positive thinking relieving the mental stress that tends to come with the aging process.

Increased Life Expectancy

What researchers have discovered is that how you view aging impacts just how long you will live. A Harvard study with 660 participants found that the people who were positive about their aging lived almost 8 years longer than everyone else.

This discovery stood even after factoring in health status, loneliness, age, income, and gender.

Of course, there are other factors that improve the aging process, including low cholesterol, a healthy weight, regular exercise, low blood pressure, and not smoking. Still, researchers from Harvard University have discovered that positive thinking is equally as powerful (if not more so, in certain cases) in extending your life.

When comparing optimistic participants to the least optimistic, the former had a lower risk of lung disease, cancer, heart disease, infections, and stroke. The Harvard researchers reviewed data covering over eight years and 70,000 women. The positive thinkers were 30% less likely to die.

Improving Your Positivity

Is the glass half full or half empty? If your answer is the former, then you are likely to live longer than those answering with half empty. If you see it as half empty, well, it isn’t too late to change your perception and start working on your positivity.

Not only will it help you improve your coping skills, but positive thinkers tend to have healthier behaviors as well. How can you take steps to improve your positivity?

Take a look at your life, and consider each aspect of it separately (romantic, social, career, spiritual, etc.) and consider what you believe the best possible outcome could be. So many of us are guilty of thinking about the worst case scenarios, and it’s incredibly rare that the worst-case comes true.

Another helpful way to boost your positivity is to record three things that you feel grateful for. This is something you can do every night, whether it’s something specific about your day or more general. Additionally, make a note of what kindnesses you do for others. It’s much easier to be a positive thinker when you have a positive sense of self. Positive affirmations are also an effective way to help with that.

When you feel good about you, know what you have to be grateful for, and do for others, you start to see the world through a more positive light. We’re a world of cynics and that has clouded our ability to remain positive.