“Do Positive People Live Longer?” That’s the million-dollar question, isn’t it? Everyone wants to know the truth. Are the happier more optimistic ones the ones that can easily live past 90 something years old? Is it because they get less stressed in day-to-day life? Or maybe is it because when something doesn’t quite go their way, the person with a positive attitude might just look for another solution? Always looking at the brighter side of things.
To test this question, multiple studies were done. Some of which were at universities like “Yale” and others were at clinics like at the “Mayo Clinic” according to this article. For instance, there was a study performed at Carnegie Mellon University that in the study, “each of 193 healthy volunteers between the ages of 18 and 55 was given nasal drops [that] contained a cold or flu virus.” “Then the participants were also assessed for their emotional style — … and each person’s health was then monitored in quarantine.” So “as the volunteers developed symptoms of infection, all the tissues that they used were collected and weighed so that mucous production could be compared in each individual across the group.” It was later noted, “those who were [the] most positive actually produced less mucus” So “a positive attitude had a biological impact and positive people were also found to have fewer overall symptoms. “
Though the mentioned above is just one study. Another study is a“30-year study of 447 people at the Mayo Clinic [that] found that optimists had around a 50 percent lower risk of early death than pessimists”. Coming to the conclusion that the “Mind and body are linked and [your] attitude has an impact on the final outcome — death.”
While the last mentioned study is the mentioned “Yale study” from the second paragraph that, “asked 660 elderly people whether they agreed that we become less useful as we age. Those who didn’t agree, and therefore had the most positive attitude about aging, lived an average of 7.5 years longer than those with the most negative attitudes, who did agree that we become less useful as we age.” (Which is mostly a matter of optimism and attitude.)
The most noticeable main difference between the two types of people is stress and how they react to it. Since “stress is [the] only part of the equation that describes the physical impact of a negative attitude.” And stress only “speeds up aging”. A good example of this situation could be our last President of the United States, Barack Obama. Who after his time as president, which anyone with a brain could tell is a very stressful job, had lost a bunch of his hair, had it grow gray and even just looked much older. Making him seemingly age quicker. (Though I’m not saying he’s going to die anytime soon.)
Stress. That is why, I think, positive people live longer than negative people. They don’t get as stressed as much or more so let it affect them as much. Which is good for the positive people, but bad for the negative, seeing as though “chronic stress has been shown to have a number of negative health impacts, from insomnia to weight gain to an increased risk for heart disease — not to mention impairing the immune and digestive systems as well as the central nervous system.” (Which is proven by a mentioned Dutch study in this article that explained that “people with a positive attitude, quite simply, lived longer and even had a 77 percent lower risk of heart disease than pessimists.”)