Long Life and Health
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Aging

Could Hardships Be a Key to Living Longer?

Life is certainly a mixed bag of pleasure and hard times. While people naturally tend to prefer good times over difficult ones, it is the hard times that may be helping you live longer than the good times. Some reports indicate that people that have an easy life – a comfortable and predictable one – are those that do not live as long as those who experience some degree of hardship. 

Hardships do several positive things for the individual going through them, although it is not likely to be appreciated at the time. The first benefit is that it makes the individual struggle. The struggle is what helps to temper the mind and soul against future struggles – if it is looked at in the right attitude. 

Although it is natural to think that positive-minded people will live longer, recent research reveals that it needs to be combined with handling hardships in a positive light as well. Just like storms make trees stronger, hardships will strengthen people that have the attitude that says “I can get through this and learn from it, too.” 

The analyzing and planning involved with wisely handling the situation in positive-minded people seems to strengthen the resolve to continue on with life. It looks at challenges as opportunities to overcome situations rather than to merely endure them. 

People with negative views toward hardships will always find something to complain about, and it could raise their stress levels a little too high. The added stress from the hardships may cause them to depend more on alcohol and drugs, which can quickly become a permanent habit. Both higher levels of stress and chemical dependency can lead to a shorter lifespan. These habits often continue long after the problem that caused them has disappeared.

Another tendency that some people develop during difficult times – such as during a pandemic with no foreseeable end – is that they may forgo regular exercise or a healthy diet. These can also shorten the lifespan because weight gain and unhealthy eating can weaken the immune system. A strong immune system will help fight off diseases and other health problems that can shorten life – including cancer. 

People that can face hardships in a positive way look at them as something that can build them. It enables them to quickly adapt to the situation and get through it easier – even if it takes a few years. 

Looking at hardships in a positive light also enables the individual to take a more thoughtful approach to the problem. Instead of hastily reacting and taking action before thinking of a meaningful and worthwhile solution, the more thoughtful person can develop a workable plan after evaluating the various available options.

Having some self-discipline in life is another factor that goes along with successfully handling hardships when they come. People that are disciplined, organized, and can set and reach goals are also more likely to live longer. These habits help lower health risks such as blood pressure, cardiovascular problems, arthritis, diabetes, and mental illness. One study revealed that people with this quality may live as much as 11 percent longer than those people without it. 

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