(NPR) — People who tend to be optimistic are likelier than others to live to be 85 years old or more, according to a new study.
Researchers also say that even if optimism doesn't come naturally, it can be taught via therapy.
Pessimists may suspect this finding, but researchers who tracked the health outcomes of thousands of adults across many years found optimists were much more likely to reach 85. Optimism is teachable.
That finding was independent of other factors thought to influence life's length — such as “socioeconomic status, health conditions, depression, social integration, and health behaviors,” the researchers from Boston University School of Medicine and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health say. Their work appears in a recent issue of the science journal PNAS.