Don’t worry – these researchers aren’t trying to tell you how pretty you’d be if you smiled.
But a new study conducted by a team at Harvard University has found that optimism might be something of a lifesaver, even if it is presently hard to find.
In all, experts learned that women with a rosier outlook on life lived 5.4 percent longer than those who were more pessimistic. And, the more positive study subjects were 10 percent more likely to live past the age of 90.
“Optimism may be an important asset to consider for promoting health and longevity in diverse populations,” researchers concluded.
And, perhaps surprisingly, they also found that “the contribution of lifestyle … was modest.”
Theirs was a far-reaching effort, with experts examining data collected over 26 years from nearly 160,000 women between the ages of 50 and 79. And an emphasis was placed on the racial diversity of participants, as many prior studies on the subject “were conducted among non-Hispanic White populations.”
Based on these findings, experts assert that encouraging optimism in and of itself among women of all demographic groups “may be a novel target for interventions that aim to extend lifespan across diverse racial and ethnic groups.”
Of course, feeling positive is more easily said than done – especially given the maelstrom of current events surrounding our lives. But if you’re looking to live a little longer, you might want to try finding some silver linings.