4 Causes of Longevity That Are Not 100% True (And What To Do Instead)
Longevity is determined by a lot of factors. But researchers are beginning to rethink some of the factors we thought were key to how long we live on the planet. Instead, they’re shedding more light and helping us understand what contributes to longevity and why some people tend to live longer than others.
Here are 4 such supposed causes of longevity that we may have overestimated their impact from the beginning.
Having an optimistic, happy-go-lucky outlook can prolong your life span
People who exhibit an optimistic outlook on life are usually thought to live longer.
Having such an outlook means that such people always expect that good thing will happen to them, or believe the future will be favorable in some way.
In a 2019 study, researchers found that people with a positive mental attitude were 11-15% more likely to experience a longer lifespan and a stronger likelihood of living to age 85 or older.
And this is regardless of their economic status, health conditions, and behaviors (e.g., smoking, diet, and alcohol use).
But it has turned out that having an upbeat personality, or always looking on the bright side of life doesn’t add to life, as scientists are still debating exactly why optimistic people appear to live longer.
In a longitudinal study of more than 1,500 people spanning 80 years, researchers discovered that cherry, happy-go-lucky folks actually live shorter lives.
“One of the findings that really astounds people, including us, is that participants who were the most cheerful and had the best sense of humor lived shorter lives, on average than those who were less cheerful and joking. It was the most prudent and persistent individuals who stayed healthiest and lived the longest,” they wrote.
According to the lead researcher, Prof. Howard S. Friedman, the result showed how surprising common assumptions (by both scientists and the media) are wrong.