nuns smiling-Flickr-DeusXFlorida-CCA 1986 study from which researchers analyzed the autobiographical essays of 678 nuns, written in their early 20s when they had entered an American convent in the 1930s, found that those in the top 25 percent on the optimism scale lived on average up to 10 years longer.

The implications of this astonishing finding in our increasingly health-conscious age should be enormous.

As the writer and broadcaster Dr Michael Mosley told a BBC radio program this week: “There is almost nothing you can do which will do that [increase your life by 10 years]. If you took up fiendish levels of exercise, you could probably raise your life expectancy by four years, so 10 years is huge.” So why isn’t health policy being redirected towards eradicating pessimism by placing the emphasis on positive minds not fitter bodies?

Mosley, a self-described “proud pessimist”, set about to change his outlook.

(READ the article in the National)

Photo credit: DeusXFlorida, via Flickr-CC


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