Alan Titchmarsh: Gardening has a 'great sense of optimism'
When you subscribe we will use the information you provide to send you these newsletters.Sometimes they’ll include recommendations for other related newsletters or services we offer.Our Privacy Notice explains more about how we use your data, and your rights.You can unsubscribe at any time.
The Boston University School of Medicine noted how a positive mental attitude is linked to “exceptional longevity” – defined as living beyond 85 years of age. Here are the research details. Dr Lewina Lee said that their research study suggests that optimism “has the potential to extend the human lifespan”. There were 69,744 women and 1,429 men involved in the investigation, who completed surveys to assess their levels of optimism, overall health and habits.
Women were followed for 10 years, while the men were followed for 30 years.
Based on their initial levels of optimism, the follow-up study found that the most happiest people demonstrated, on average, a 15 percent longer lifespan.
Those who felt most optimistic had up to a 70 percent greater chance of reaching 85 years old compared to the least optimistic group.
The results were maintained after taking into account the following factors:
- Educational attainment
- Chronic diseases
- Alcohol use
- Primary care visits
Clinical psychologist Dr Lee highlighted that prior research has “identified many risk factors for diseases and premature death”.
Yet, by moving the goalpost to examine what contributes to longevity, optimism keeps making a reappearance.
Dr Lee said: “Interestingly, optimism may be modifiable using relatively simple techniques or therapies.”
A contributor to the study, Dr Laura Kubzansky noted how optimistic people “may be able to regulate emotions and behaviour” in everyday life.
Fatty liver disease symptoms: Nail changes are a sign [INSIGHT]
Vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms: ‘Prolonged’ symptoms [ADVICE]
Fatty liver disease symptoms: Three visible signs [TIPS]
Moreover, those with a sunnier disposition are able to “bounce back from stressors and difficulties more effectively” than gloomier counterparts.
Those with a happier outlook on life have also been linked to healthier habits, such as exercising more and are less likely to smoke.
A professor of epidemiology, Fran Grodstein, added: “Research on the reason why optimism matters so much remains to be done, but the link between optimism and health is becoming more evident.”
Dr Lee concluded: “Our study contributes to scientific knowledge on health assets that may protect against mortality risk and promote resilient ageing.
“We hope that our findings will inspire further research on interventions to enhance positive health assets that may improve the public’s health with ageing.”
How to be happier
The NHS shares six tips on bringing more happiness into your everyday life.
Reducing stress levels, or learning to cope with stressors in a healthy way, is helpful in feeling happier day to day.
Exercise can be a great tool to sweat off stress and can help to clear your mind.
Additional techniques include breathing exercises and learning time management strategies.
“Doing things that you enjoy is good for your emotional wellbeing,” said the national health body – as long as it’s not a detriment to your health.
This could be meeting with a friend, having a soak in the bath, or watching sports.
This can be achieved by positive self talk and taking care of yourself.
Other keys to happiness include: having a healthy lifestyle; sharing your feelings; and building resilience.
Source: Read Full Article