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STUDY: Elderly can think themselves into the grave, report finds
JOURNAL: the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
AUTHORS: Becca Levy
ABSTRACT: Older people can literally think themselves into the grave by feeling bad about getting old.
COMMENTARY: People who said they had more positive views about aging lived an average 7.6 years longer than those with negative perceptions.
How one feels about getting old is more important even than having low blood pressure or cholesterol.
The effect of more positive self-perceptions of aging on survival is greater than the physiological measures of low systolic blood pressure and cholesterol, each of which is associated with a longer lifespan of four years or less.
It is also greater than the independent contributions of lower body mass index, no history of smoking, and a tendency to exercise, each of these factors has been found to contribute between one and three years of added life.
The study carries two messages. The discouraging one is that negative self-perceptions can diminish life expectancy. The encouraging one is that positive self-perceptions can prolong life expectancy.
Let's all think positive!!!!!!