Pessimists live longer

Older people who are pessimists tend to live longer than optimists, according to researchers in Germany and Switzerland.

When I heard about the research one morning on National Public Radio, I was curious to find out more.

“It is possible that a pessimistic outlook leads elderly people to look after themselves and their health better and take greater precautions against risks,” explains one of the researchers, Frieder Lang, in a German publication.

“How scientific was the research?” asks my daughter, who is almost finished with her master’s in behavior analysis.

And, I have a few questions myself. Do younger pessimists live longer? How pessimistic do you have to be to ensure that you will live longer? Would these pessimists be happier if they were a little more optimistic?

I think I’ll strive to be optimistic and to take care of myself so that I’ll be an exception.


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