22 Aug Will happiness help you live longer? In short, yes…
There are many benefits that come with happiness…
- better health
- more positive relationships
- and much, much more…
…one of the other consequences is longevity. Although there’s been much debate over the findings, it’s relatively well accepted that happy people live longer. Keep reading for a good review from Time Magazine…
by Justin Worland
Judging from pop culture, old age turns even the most charming socialites into lovable but grumpy misanthropes. The elderly often appear in films as lonely neighbors, grumpy grandpas and cranky cabdrivers.
But if you look at the scientific data, it turns out that most older people are not actually crankier than younger people–it’s just that they don’t play by the same social rules. When you’re younger, being nice and presenting yourself positively can gain people’s good favor down the line, says Derek Isaacowitz, a psychology professor at Northeastern University, but that ceases to be a major motivator as you age. That’s why social scientists like to point out that outward expressions of grumpiness may just be a sign that someone is unconcerned with social niceties–as opposed to being hardened and unhappy.
In fact, study after study has shown that despite appearances, people tend to grow happier with age, particularly after age 80. One reason: older adults tend to ignore negative information, focusing instead on the things they prefer to focus on. That’s particularly helpful when you consider that, by and large, elderly people have more experience facing upsetting losses than younger folks, simply because they’ve been around longer. “You start getting the experience that this is life, and you get used to moving on with it,” says Nir Barzilai, who runs a center on aging at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. “It has to do with life experience. It has to do with psychology.”
Less clear is whether happiness contributes to longevity in any meaningful way. There’s plenty of research on both sides, but according to the most comprehensive research to date–a study published in the British Medical Journal–the connection between outlook and longevity appears to be stronger than previously thought. In the study, involving over 10,000 people, those who reported more enjoyment during middle age were 24% less likely to have died of any cause during the study period than their counterparts who said they did not enjoy themselves.
“The longer people are in a positive state, the better it probably is as far as their health is concerned,” says Andrew Steptoe of the University College of London, lead author of the study. “This adds weight to the evidence that outlook might be relevant to health.”
…keep reading the full & original article HERE