Can Positive Thoughts Help You to Live Longer?

 

Positive thinking can do more than help you reach a specific goal. It also offers the potential for a longer, happier life.

This idea isn’t just conjecture. There is conclusive evidence from clinical research which proves positive people can live longer.

One recent study from Carnegie Mellon University reinforces this trend. The study followed 193 volunteers between the ages of 18 to 55. Each participant was given a nasal drop that contained a virus.

The volunteers also received an assessment to determine their emotional style. Researchers wanted to know if they experienced happiness or calmness, or whether their natural form shifted to negative thoughts, like hostility or anxiety. Each person was then monitored in quarantine to observe their health.

The Results of This Positivity Study Were Clear

Researchers would collect tissues once the volunteers began to develop symptoms of an infection. These were weighed to compare mucous production levels.

The results were immediately evident. If the volunteers screened into the group which tended to think in positive ways, then they produced less mucous during their illness. Their attitude created a direct biological impact that could improve their health.

People who are grouped together because of their positivity also had fewer symptoms of the virus they were given compared to those who leaned toward a negative outlook. Although not everyone got sick during the study, fewer people got sick when they expressed positivity compared to those who had a negative emotional style.

Studies on Positivity and Mortality

The Mayo Clinic followed almost 500 people over a 30-year study to find that people who are optimistic have a 50% lower risk of early mortality than people who consider themselves to be pessimists. Researchers on this project concluded that the brain and body are linked together to create a significant impact on the outcome of death.

Researchers at Yale asked almost 700 elderly individuals if they thought people became less useful as they grew older. The people who had the most positive attitude lived an average of 7.5 years longer than those who approached aging in a negative way.

About 1,000 people were studied in Holland to examine the link between mortality and positivity after the age of 65. These researchers discovered that optimists had a 77% lower risk of developing heart disease when compared to the pessimists.

This information brings up an interesting question: why is it that positive people tend to live longer?

The answer may be more simplistic than you realize. Happier people deal with lower levels of stress. 

Why Stress is a Killer

Stress creates inflammation within the body. It produces higher risks of disease development in numerous ways. It can even speed up the aging process for some individuals. Negative attitudes develop higher levels of it, which is why pessimists don’t typically live longer than those who try to have a positive attitude. 

This concept isn’t new. Many religions speak of loving one another instead of hating people. They ask you to forgive instead of allowing issues to fester.

This advice is much more than a path to spiritual maturity. It is a way to encourage everyone to live life to its fullest.

Try to live on the happier side of things starting today. It could save your life. 

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