OptimismIn 2019, scientists at Harvard and Boston University released their findings from studies of 71,000 people. Their research showed that people with higher levels of optimism had an 11-15% longer life span, and a greater chance of living past age 85. The optimists received the benefit of longer lifespan regardless of socioeconomic status, health conditions, depression, social integration and health behaviors like smoking, diet and alcohol use. The findings corroborate a 2009 University of Pittsburgh study of the life extension benefits of optimism in 97,000 women. That study showed a 14% longer life span. For those seeking to improve at optimism, check out Martin Seligman’s book, Learned Optimism, How to Change Your Mind and Your Life or this four-minute article on 7 Habits To Help You Become More Optimistic.
HappinessIn research findings published in 2015 by University of Colorado and North Carolina scientists with a sample size of over 32,000 people, very happy people lived 6% longer than pretty happy people and 14% longer than unhappy people. This was regardless of marital status, socioeconomic status, census division and religious attendance. It turns out that being happy reduces stress, lowers blood pressure and boosts your immune system, thus increasing your life expectancy. Happy people are more likely to follow a healthy lifestyle and in turn, a healthy lifestyle increases happiness. For those seeking to improve your happiness, focus on gradually improving your healthy lifestyle across the 22 other key health factors such as regular and consistent sleep, more daily movement and exercise and a better diet. Seeing your best self in the mirror each morning will make you happier.
If that’s not enough, as your reward for reading this article, make sure to watch the six-minute acclaimed short-film Gratitude from time-elapsed videographer Louie Schwartzberg. It will increase your happiness and optimism each and every day forward.