Positive thinkers might live longer than negative thinkers. This is according to studies into the health of Americans. Boston University researchers looked at data on 70,000 female nurses and 1,500 male military veterans. They found that people who were optimists (people who thought positively) were more likely to live to the age of 85. People who were more pessimistic (those who thought negatively) were 11-15 per cent less likely to live to 85. Researchers say optimists (positive thinkers) manage stress more easily than pessimists (negative thinkers).
Participants in the studies answered questions that assessed their diets, exercise, levels of optimism, and how much they smoked and drank. The surveys matched these levels with overall levels of health. A professor said: "Our findings speak to the possibility that raising levels of optimism may promote longevity and healthy ageing." Her advice for pessimists who might want to live longer was to, "imagine a future in which everything has turned out well". She urged people to be more optimistic. She said it was healthier to look on the bright side of life.