Of all of the following lifestyle changes, which can add the most years to your life?
1. Not smoking
2. Maintain a healthy weight
3. Lower Cholesterol
4. Lower Blood pressure.
5. Don’t worry Be Happy.
That’s right, the answer is “Don’t worry, be happy” and of course it wouldn’t have been reported here if it were otherwise. Regular readers recognize my position on non-judgmental evaluation of human failure and on the value of hope and now there is a report on recent studies which “have correlated long life with optimism, with positive thinking, and with a lack of hostility, anxiety and depression…. It is definitely the case that certain people who are psychologically healthier live longer,” said Dr. Howard S. Friedman of the University of California at Riverside, a psychologist who has studied personality traits that correlate with longevity.”
According to the report “The most recent study of personality and longevity was conducted among a group of 660 people over 50 in Oxford, Ohio, who, in 1975, had answered questions having to do with, among other things, their attitudes about aging… It turned out that those who viewed aging as a positive experience lived, on average, 7.5 years longer than those who took a darker view.”
“That is an advantage far greater, the researchers point out, than what can be gained from lowering blood pressure or reducing cholesterol, each of which has been found to lengthen life about four years. It also beats exercise, not smoking and maintaining a healthy weight, strategies that add one to three years.”
You got to love it! “Don’t worry, be happy!”