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?
It’s simple, but powerful. Here’s what science says about optimism and how it affects longevity and health.
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 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.
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.
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.
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).
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:
Want more free fountain of youth habits, and how hope affects health? Check out our previous posts:
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!