Most people assume that positive thinking is just something that we do to help achieve our goals, or even to get through difficult times. But a host of exciting research has shown that attitude affects our health – so much so, in fact, that a positive attitude can add years to our lives.
A 30-year study of 447 people at the Mayo Clinic found that optimists had around a 50-percent lower risk of early death than pessimists. The studyΓÇÖs conclusion: “Mind and body are linked and attitude has an impact on the final outcome – death.”
This was further compounded in a Dutch study that examined the attitudes and longevity of 999 people over the age of 65. The study reported a “protective relationship” between optimism and mortality. People with a positive attitude, quite simply lived longer. They even had a 77-percent lower risk of heart disease than pessimists.
So why do positive people live longer? Scientists say it is because they get less stressed in day-to-day life. When something doesnΓÇÖt quite go to plan, a person with a positive attitude might just deal with it, typically refocus, or even look for another solution. But a person with a negative attitude will typically complain more, get angry or frustrated, and expend a lot of energy going over and over in their heads what has happened and how much it is a real inconvenience for them.
Inside the body, the difference between positive and negative people is stress. Regular stress causes inflammation. It plays a key role in wound-healing but inflammation also occurs on the inside of the body. It is a side effect of too much stress and/or poor lifestyle choices. It has a hand in most known diseases, most typically heart disease. It even speeds up aging.
* So a negative attitude, because it causes stress and inflammation, can speed up aging. This is likely why positive people live longer.
Source: Vaal Weekblad