Monday, February 25, 2008

Optimists Have The Last Laugh

I've had debates with several friends over the years about how I think having an optimistic outlook on life is far better than having a pessimistic one. Unfortunately, I haven't always been as persuasive to them as I would have liked. Maybe some new health research will help convince them to look on the sunnier side of life:

Optimists get the last laugh, according to a new study that shows their hearts stay healthy longer than those of grumps.

People who described themselves as highly optimistic a decade ago had lower rates of death from cardiovascular disease and lower overall death rates than strong pessimists, the research found.

Major depression was already a known risk factor for heart problems, Any possible connection between a positive outlook and the chance of dying hadn't been well studied, however.

Nine years ago a study group -- 999 men and women aged 65 to 85 -- completed a questionnaire on health, self-respect, morale, optimism and relationships. Since then, 397 of them have died.

Optimistic participants had a 55 percent lower risk of death from all causes and 23 percent lower risk of death from heart failure.

Keep reading after the link. More on this here. As Randy Pausch says, it is better to be a Tigger than an Eeyore.

Unfortunately, I'm not sure if this will sound like good news to my pessimistic friends or just one more thing for them to get depressed about?


Ali Hasanain said...

Sigh, so you mean I'm going to die quicker too?

Brian Hollar said...

Yeah, but we knew that already, remember? ;)