Is This Habit a Free Fountain of Youth?

Believe it or not, you may have the fountain of youth available to you, for free.

In fact, it’s so powerful, it increases longevity and quality of life both. And best of all, if you don’t already have it, you can get it.

What is it?

Optimism.

It’s simple, but powerful. Here’s what science says about optimism and how it affects longevity and health.

Studies on Optimism and Longevity

A recent study appeared in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, where researchers from Boston studied if different levels of optimism are linked to longer lives (1).

These scientists didn’t actually perform a lab study, but looked to 2 existing ones.

First, they examined the Nurses’ Health Study, which includes approximately 10 years of follow-up of 70,000 women.

Second, they examined the Veterans Affairs Normative Aging Study. This study is also a great source with about 30 years of follow-up of 1400 men.

In each, participants were asked questions to determine their level of optimism. They answered questions like “In uncertain times, I usually expect the best” or “Overall, I expect more good things to happen to me than bad.”

From these answers, the researchers determined an “optimism score.”

The Results of Optimism and the Fountain of Youth

The researchers found higher scores were strongly linked to longer survival.

The women with the highest 25% of optimism scores lived 15% longer than those in the lowest.

The men with the top 20% of optimism lived 11% longer than men in the lowest 20%.

The scientists accounted for variables to show statistical significance, including demographics, health conditions, and depression.

What the Results Mean

Optimism was associated with “exceptional longevity,” which is defined as living to greater than age 85.

The most optimistic women and men in the study were 50% and 70% more likely to reach exceptional longevity.

Other Variables

While demographics and mental health were accounted for, other variables and lifestyle habits may still play a part. For example, smoking.

When the scientists adjusted for these, the numbers changed slightly.

However, it’s tough to say whether the lifestyle habit is a variable on its own, or if it too, is influenced by level of optimism.

Does being optimistic make you more likely to exercise, not smoke, and take care of your body? If so, living longer is a direct benefit of optimism and should be part of what makes optimism a potent fountain of youth.

Can Optimism Become a Learned Habit?

Of course, any outlook on life can be learned, and discipline in that habit can make it stick.

This is especially true for anyone who believes, trusts, and has a relationship with God!

Studies show that approximately 25% of optimism is heritable (2). Our genes and our personalities play a large role. However, that leaves 75% available for change.

In fact, studies show you can create a habit of optimism and increase your level with prayer, meditation, journaling, and gratitude, even with just 2 weeks of intervention (3).

In addition, the more you take initiative with healthy behaviors, such a healthy diet, and exercise, the more optimistic you’ll become. It’s a great cycle (4).

What the Scripture Says About Optimism

The Bible is the greatest written resource for optimism. By studying and believing it, you can learn the habit os optimism. Here are 5 verses to start:

  1. Proverbs 4:23 – Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.
  2. Joshua 1:9 – “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
  3. John 14:27 –  “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”
  4. Romans 15:13 – “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”
  5. Philippians 4:12-13 – “I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”

More Free Anti-Aging Habits

Want more free fountain of youth habits, and how hope affects health? Check out our previous posts:

Free Anti-Aging Habits in 24 Hours (Part 1)

Free Anti-Aging Habits in 24 Hours (Part 2)

5 Ways Hope Affects Health

Bottom Line

The fountain of youth is right at your fingertips. It’s available to you, through God, as you tap into his promises and look to the future with optimism. He’s given you ways to improve health, mental outlook, and aging. Be diligent in forming the mental habit of optimism. Look to the bright side, God’s side, today!

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