According to I Village .com, results from two long-term studies show that certain personality traits have a BIG impact on the length and quality of our lives.
First, in a 23-year study done by researchers from Yale and Miami Universities, folks over 50 who looked at getting older as a positive experience lived an average of 7 and a half years longer than those who didn't--The other study, conducted by the Mayo Clinic, showed that optimists have half the risk of early death and fewer problems as they age than pessimists.
And while optimism goes a long way, the real way to think yourself to a long life is to combine that optimism with discipline, dependability, good sense, and a desire to achieve - traits that researchers sum up with the term conscientiousness.
Why? Because conscientious people tend to look before they leap, and are less likely to pursue unhealthy habits like smoking and overeating. And optimists are more apt to seek medical care and follow the advice of their doctors.
But if you're a little on the doom and gloom side, don't fret! You can improve your outlook simply by making a valiant effort to be more optimistic. It's the silver lining principle--Instead of thinking, "I'm on a diet and I can't have a burrito" think, "By not having this burrito, I'm going to fit in my jeans again." When you practice this daily, suddenly everything such as eating right, exercising, and quitting harmful habits - will look a whole lot easier.
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