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Being optimistic: A road to longevity

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Optimism is a personality trait that holds positive thinking on things in the future. Being optimistic has both physical and psychological well-being.

A recent study indicated the health benefits of optimism in promoting people’s longevity. The study published in the journal PNAS found that optimists are more likely to live longer.

The study collected data from two long-running studies following up male war veterans and females for 10 years and 30 years respectively. The participants aged about 60 to 70 were required to finish optimism questionnaires.

The analysis results showed that people who got the highest optimism scores had a lifespan about 9% longer than those with the lowest scores, and that optimism contributed to 11 to 15% longer life span on average.

The study finding is not new since many studies have shown that optimism can promote people’s longevity.

Pessimists usually have fluctuant mental states and are prone to depression, raising their risk of getting various diseases like high blood pressure and digestive disorders.

Moreover, important as humor in socializing, being optimistic play an important role in facilitating your success.

Humans are not born with optimism, and you’ll be happy to hear that optimism can be gained by learning and practicing. Here are some easy ways to help you be more optimistic.

Think positively

Positive thinking is beneficial and can help people feel motivated when facing some difficulties. Optimistic people tend to use some positive languages to describe terrible incidents. For example, they use “challenges” instead of “troubles” when facing some tricky things.

Speak in a cheerful tone

Our voice is more expressive than we think, and it can reveal our mood. When we speak in a cheerful tone, people around us are more likely to response us in a pleasant manner, which can help build cooperation rather than conflicts.

Stop complaining

You can only lose your time and energy and leave problems unsolved when dwelling on complaining about poor fortunate. Optimists tend to look for solutions rather than complain about the current situations.

Write down happy things

It’s useful to record happy and grateful things. It helps remind you of the positives experienced in your daily life and prevent low self-esteem when facing difficulties.

Imagine a best possible self

Picturing a best possible self allows you to appreciate your advantages and motivate you to make full use of your potential. A study published in 2010 found that people who did imagery exercise in the personal, relational and professional domain could significantly increase their optimism.

Focus on your own success

We tend to admire others’ accomplishment and ignore ours entirely. Marking our own success can fill our brain with a better self which can make us more confident to vision a bright future.

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