The Real Secrets To Long Life
Today, I read on Yahoo!sg that recent findings by Israeli researchers, show people who have personality traits and described as outgoing, optimistic, easygoing, enjoy laughter and engage actively in social activities, live longer than their opposite counterparts. You can read the report here.
No s*^t! Seriously?! This is not rocket science news. wtf?! So, I decided to dig a little deeper on this topic.
I found out that in 2011, researchers Howard Friedman and Leslie Martin, published a famous book called The Longevity Project. They used one of the most famous studies in psychology in the attempt to answer the question of who lives the longest.
From their findings, there seem to be quite a few interesting (and controversial) misconceptions we have on the prescription for a longer life.
Myth #1: Think happy thoughts. You will live longer.
According to the study, individuals who often described as ‘cheerful and optimistic’, ‘never sees the negative side of things’ and ‘never worries’ were less likely to live longer – contradicting the recent findings by Israelis researchers reported by Yahoo!sg today. The study showed that worrying is apparently not a bad thing because neuroticism is health-protective. However, people who seemed to live the longest were accomplished people satisfied with their lives. Keywords being ‘accomplished’ and ‘satisfied’.
Myth #2: Exercise is the key to long life.
Not entirely true. It depends. We always hear the general rule for exercising our way to a healthier life as: thirty minutes, at least four times a week. This includes heart pumping activities such as running, walking and cycling. Good if you are young, able and active. But for senior citizens, it is not so much about the kind of exercise. Why run if you hate running, or cannot run? Rather, it is about doing stuff that gets them out of the chair and keeping a pattern to the activity.
Myth #3: Don’t work so hard. You will live longer.
Apparently, the study showed that those who work hardest, lived the longest. In other words, people who enjoyed meaningful career success were the least likely to die young. On the same note, those who hopped from job to job without the chance of career progression and advancement were less likely to live a long life. The real secret is to get engaged in pursing one’s goals, to stay actively connected to the social community, and to achieve fulfillment beyond one’s self.
Myth #4: Get married. You will live longer.
Erm….not true for everyone. While a sexually satisfying and happy marriage is a good indicator for a long and happy life, it seems that women who stayed single, divorced (from bad marriages) and were widowed thrived exceptionally better for long life. According to the study, being divorced is much less harmful to women, than it is for men. Men, who are divorced and stayed divorced, are at a really high risk of premature mortality.
The findings concluded by Howard Friedman and Leslie Martin, and published in The Longevity Project, is a research database collected over 20 years by Stanford University psychologist Lewis Terman. In 1921, Terman started to track the lives of 1,500 Americans from childhood to death, and examined the quality of lives they led, which led to a massive database used for studying longevity.
Now, this is news.
This feature was listed as one of Kat’s Best Feature Posts of 2012.