Positively Add Years to Your Life

Friendly Wheels, Issue 35
January 2011

By: Dr. Daniel Kehresalt

Do you see the glass as half empty or half full? Those who see the glass as half full may be adding years to their life.

Do Positive People Live Longer?
was a question posed recently in the Huffington Post. Reporter David Hamilton Ph.D. says "a host of exciting research has shown that attitude affects our health - so much so, in fact, that a positive attitude can add years to our lives."

There are a variety of studies that confirm that positive people do live longer.

  • Healthy volunteers contracted a cold or flu virus and were assessed by their emotional style. The results clearly showed that the most positive people produced less mucus and had fewer overall symptoms. Study by Carnegie Mellon University. 
  • A 30-year study found that optimists had around a 50 percent lower risk of early death than pessimists. Study by Mayo Clinic. 
  • A group of 660 elderly people were interviewed to see whether they had a positive attitude about aging. Those that were positive lived an average of 7.5 years longer than those with negative attitudes. Study by Yale University. 
  • In the Netherlands, a study found a "protective relationship" between optimism and mortality, meaning that optimists lived longer. There was found to be a 77 percent lower risk of heart disease than pessimists. Study by Arnhem Elderly.

There are four types of stress: physical, chemical, nutritional and mental, that cause and promote inflammation - leading to disease. Reducing

mental stress can prevent disease and improve your health.

"How do we turn our minds to more positive things?" Hamilton says. "Counting blessings is a simple way. Or challenge yourself to go three weeks without complaining, moaning, or criticizing."

One way I've been doing this is to make myself accountable for counting my blessings by writing them down every day. I encourage you to write down one thing you are thankful for every day.

"These simple techniques don't sound like much, but if they become a habit, they'll be some of the best habits you've ever adopted, because they might just add years to your life," Hamilton concludes.

Read the complete article from the Huffington Post here.

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