Maintaining a positive outlook on life has many practical benefits. Staying on the sunny side can help to reduce stress, improve and deepen social interactions, and ward off depression. New studies suggest that a good attitude may also determine how long you will live and whether or not you are at risk of dementia later in life. Researchers from the Institute of Social and Preventative Medicine at the University of Zurich have found that the way individuals rate their own health, using a scale from “very poor” to “excellent” demonstrated a correlation with longevity independent of other risk factors such as preexisting disease, education, or smoking.
This personally held view of one’s fitness was linked to the probability of survival over a period of 3o years, with men of the same age who saw themselves as “very poor” 3.3 times more likely to die than those who considered themselves as “excellent”, and 1.9 times more likely in women. Risk of illness increased steadily as negative descriptions were observed. One possible explanation for this relationship is that those who viewed themselves as “excellent” were more likely to have attributes to “improve and sustain their health”, according to specialist Dr. David Fah. These could include “positive attitude, an optimistic outlook, and a fundamental satisfaction with one’s own life.”
A poor perspective could also possibly predict the likelihood of developing dementia. In a 2011 issue of Neuroscience, self-assessment was established as a tool that doctors could utilize to foresee a patient’s chance of memory loss, vascular disease, stroke, and death. At the beginning of a study conducted by the French National Institute of Health, 8,169 people age 65 and older were asked to rate their health, and then followed for a period of seven years. 618 participants developed dementia, where the risk of incidence was 70% higher in those who had a “poor” health estimation of themselves, and 34% higher with a “fair” rating . The research also found that the relationships between people’s personal evaluations and risk was greater among those who had no cognitive problems, where “poor” assessments were twice as likely to develop dementia as those who saw themselves in “good” shape.
So, for a long and healthy life, throw in a good thought or two amidst your daily exercise routine. The power of your mind may be the key to a working body, sharp cognitive skills, and overall contentment!
May 5, 2012
July 25, 2011
August 11, 2012