Many formulas are tossed around today as being the key to living longer. Most of them will focus on activities and diet – all of which are very important in staying healthy longer. A very important additional factor that we often overlook is attitude toward life.
Many things can affect someone’s attitude. This often depends on what you are willing to allow to affect you. These things can range from having a constant negative outlook on life, having a short temper, blaming someone else for everything that goes wrong in your life, to having wrong expectations of a partner or your own life. Each of these things can place stress on the body. This will ultimately shorten lifespan if allowed to continue over long periods.
Better Attitudes Toward the Future Lead to Longer Life
After evaluating many people, scientists found that the people (in mid-life or older) that have the highest expectations of a good and even better future tend to live the longest. The impact it can have on your lifespan is greater than if you brought your blood pressure down to a healthy level and reduced your cholesterol levels. The reason appears to be that those with a better outlook on life are less likely to develop chronic diseases. These diseases, of course, will shorten your life.
Chronic diseases often increase as you grow older because stress tends to lower your body’s ability to fight off disease. It also allows the effects of stress to have a greater impact on your body. A correlation has been shown between longer life and reduced illnesses. This indicates that reducing chronic diseases will help you to live longer.
The Limits of Studies
The studies are so far unable to conclude whether or not longevity is directly related to optimistic attitudes. It is possible that those with better thoughts are simply able to stay away from more self-destructive habits such as smoking, drinking, overeating, etc. This may lead to the development of more healthy habits as well, such as getting regular exercise, eating more nutritious foods, keeping a healthy weight, and avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol.
Even though there may be limits to what studies can prove, no one can deny that there is some kind of connection. This means that along with the personal development of healthy habits, you also need to seek to develop and maintain positive attitudes about life and your situation.
Anxiety Over Aging
It is also possible that those with better attitudes are better able to handle issues that produce stress. One attitude that seems to produce greater stress in many people is what people expect of their future as they get older. Some people get stressed over it. As the aches increase – so do the negative attitudes.
Having a positive attitude about the future helps you to look at potentially stressful situations differently. It also helps you to have a stronger will to live. Because you expect more out of life, you will likely live between 12 to 14 years longer.
Keys to Better Attitudes
Recent studies point to two aspects of developing or maintaining good attitudes. As you get older, they become even more important. They are making new friendships and maintaining the ones you already have. The older you become, the more important they are to your health.