Positive Thinking May Lengthen Life

Want to live longer? Then think positive, researchers advise. A study of 660 volunteers ages 50 and older shows negative stereotypes about aging may have an adverse effect on longevity.

Even if you are not aware of them, subtle associations of the elderly with illness or frailty may be shortening your life by affecting your will to live, the study suggests. In fact, the scientists assert, positive self-perceptions of aging may influence lifespan more than not smoking or exercising, said lead researcher Becca Levy of Yale University's Department of Epidemiology and Public Health.

The study found that older people with more positive self-perceptions of aging, measured up to 23 years earlier, lived 7.5 years longer than those with less positive ones. "The effect of more positive self-perceptions of aging on survival is greater than the physiological measures of low systolic blood pressure and cholesterol, each of which is associated with a longer lifespan of four years or less," the authors wrote in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. "It is also greater than the independent contributions of lower body mass index, no history of smoking and a tendency to exercise; each of these factors has been found to contribute between one and three years of added life."


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Bonnie Morét is an award-winning photographer recognized by The Georgia Council of the Arts as "an exceptional representation of contemporary Georgia art work." Her photography is featured on Georgia Public Broadcast's Georgia Traveler. Her exhibitions include Fifth Annual Exposure Awards at Musee du Louvre in Paris, France, Art Takes Miami at Scope Art during Art Basel Miami, Metro Montage XIII at the Marietta/Cobb Museum of Art, World of Water at the Georgia Aquarium, Open Walls at Black Box Gallery in Portland, Oregon, Wholly Georgia: A Look at the Effects of Southern Religious Culture, sponsored by the Art History League and Georgia State University, at Mint Gallery in Atlanta, Georgia, 6x6 at the Rochester Contemporary Arts Center in Rochester, New York, @Phonography: Dialogue in the Wireless Age, at 3 Ring Circus in New Orleans, Louisiana, and About Lands and Lives of the Civil War at the 6th Cavalry Museum in Ft. Oglethorpe, Georgia. Her photography appears in Modern Luxury/The Atlantan, Jezebel Magazine, and hangs in the executive offices at the Georgia State Capitol as part of the Art of Georgia exhibit. Corporate clients include Atlanta Ballet, Atlanta History Center, Chanel Cosmetics, Christian Dior Cosmetics, Sharp Mountain Vineyards, PM Realty Group, Granite Properties, Road Atlanta, Patrón Tequila, StubHub, CBM Records and The Washington Auto Show.