Optimism Improves Longevity

//Optimism Improves Longevity

Optimism Improves Longevity

For hundreds of years, people have sought out how to live a longer and healthier life. Over the years, research has shown us the many things that may contribute to an earlier death, such as substance use or environmental hazards. This research, though, tends to focus on the negative and what can cut our lives short rather than what helps increase our life span. Interestingly, new research does just that, and has shown that optimism is a key factor in longevity.

Optimism has previously been found to lower risks of chronic illness and premature death, but new research has found that it is highly correlated to living to age 85 or older. In a large sample, those with high optimism were 50-70% more likely to reach that age, and 11-15% were more likely to live longer overall. This was true regardless of other health factors, such as diet, exercise, health care, and substance use; and was also found for both women and men.

Researchers believe that optimism helps promote healthier habits and decrease stress and depression, which can impact one’s healthiness and self-care. Indeed, stress has been shown to have a significant impact on one’s health, particularly related to inflammation. Other new research has found a link between anger and decreased life span for men in their 80s, which was also contributed to inflammation. Overall, mental health has a strong effect on physical health!

By |2019-10-07T16:37:10+00:00October 7th, 2019|

About the Author:

Dr. Stephanie M. Fox
Dr. Fox’s professional training took her throughout the Four Corners area, which inspired her practice name. In 2009, she earned a B.A. in Psychology from the University of New Mexico, graduating summa cum laude. She earned her M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Argosy University, Denver in 2012, and her Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology from the Arizona School of Professional Psychology in 2016. Throughout her training, Dr. Fox has had an extensive assessment background, including conducting diagnostic, forensic, and educational/achievement evaluations with adolescents and adults. She completed a predoctoral internship at the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Fort Logan, and completed her postdoctoral work in private practice in personality and psychoeducational evaluations. Collectively, Dr. Fox has completed hundreds of evaluations covering a diverse range of issues. Dr. Fox is licensed as a Psychologist in the state of Colorado (#4709), and is also nationally certified as a Health Service Psychologist by the National Register (#55849). She is a member of the American Psychological Association, Colorado Psychological Association, and Colorado Assessment Society.