Looks like staying positive may help you live longer and in better health. “A large existing body of research shows that negative emotions — including depression, stress and anxiety — can have a detrimental effect on our physical well-being.
Andrew Steptoe, the director of the Institute of Epidemiology at University College London, decided to examine the flip side of the coin: Can a healthy, happy, energized mental state have a positive physical effect? “We were interested in seeing whether positive well-being might have a protective effect on age-related changes,” Steptoe says.
To find out, Steptoe and his co-authors analyzed data on 3,199 people, 60 and older, and recorded their attitudes about how much they enjoyed life. Respondents were split into three groups: about 21 percent were categorized as having a positive mental outlook, 56 percent a medium level and 23 percent a low level.
The study, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, tracked respondents over an eight-year period. Inevitably, as participants aged, difficulty performing day-to-day tasks — which included getting dressed, climbing stairs, and cutting food — increased as mobility became more limited.”
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