Can your attitude on one thing add years to your life?

Be positive about getting older.

This research found that older individuals with more positive self-perceptions of aging, measured up to 23 years earlier, lived 7.5 years longer than those with less positive self-perceptions of aging. This advantage remained after age, gender, socioeconomic status, loneliness, and functional health were included as covariates. It was also found that this effect is partially mediated by will to live. The sample consisted of 660 individuals aged 50 and older who participated in a community-based survey, the Ohio Longitudinal Study of Aging and Retirement (OLSAR). By matching the OLSAR to mortality data recently obtained from the National Death Index, the authors were able to conduct survival analyses. The findings suggest that the self-perceptions of stigmatized groups can influence longevity.

Source: “Longevity increased by positive self-perceptions of aging.” from J Pers Soc Psychol. 2002 Aug;83(2):261-70.

Across the board, it really pays to literally think and behave like your younger self. Having a mid-life crisis is avoidable and you can keep an aging brain sharp.

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