For many years researchers pointed to lower rates of heart disease among optimists and believed optimism led to greater longevity.
In the last few years, new research is starting to support a different picture. It’s thought that people who predict a gloomier future take more precautions, whether they save money, make healthier choices, or take fewer risks. Being prepared for difficulties might also lead to less stress and anxiety when the realistic outcome presents itself.
Optimists still appear to have advantages. People with sunnier outlooks may have more friends and maintain social networks that help them cope with stress. In situations where persistence pays off, like keeping a diet or exercise program going until it becomes a habit, optimists may be more successful.
The good news? We may naturally choose between optimism and pessimism based on what benefits us in a given situation. If we can decide which outlook is best for each situation, we may just outlive those who are outliers in either direction. Or is my assumption too optimistic?
Optimism vs. Pessimism: Which Is Better For Your Health and Longevity?
Pessimists Live Longer, New Study Says