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Being pessimistic may extend your life

By Cassie Shortsleeve

Men's Health

Do pessimists live longer than optimists? That’s what new research in Psychology and Aging suggests.

In the study, people over the age of 65 who overestimated how satisfied they'd be with their life in 5 years had a greater chance of developing a disability or dying in that time. In fact, each point of overestimation on a 1 to 10 scale was linked to a 9.5 percent increase in disability and a 10 percent increase in death.

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Here's what's really going on: Negative outlooks are usually just more realistic, making you more likely to be careful and pay attention to your health, the researchers say.

So don't throw out your rose-colored shades. In fact, leave them on: A recent study in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that positive thinking can help you battle health challenges.

When people with coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, or asthma wrote down their health goals (like sticking to doctor appointments), those who were also asked to think positive thoughts every morning stuck to their meds and hit the gym more than those who simply put pen to paper.

(Hit the gym, eat more vegetables, or quit smoking, and you'll Add Years To Your Life.)

More Links:

When Your Feelings Turn Fatal

The Mind Trick That Wards Off Aging

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