Optimists report higher levels of mental and physical functioning than pessimists, research reveals.
Dr Toshihiko Maruta, the study’s first author, said:
“The wellness of being is not just physical, but attitudinal.Researchers studied 447 people who were followed over 30 years.
How you perceive what goes on around you and how you interpret it may have an impact on your longevity, and it could affect the quality of your later years.”
Their personality was assessed, along with their physical and mental functioning.
It turned out that pessimists had a lower quality of life, on average.
Dr Maruta said:
“Our study provides documentation for beliefs commonly held by patients and health care practitioners about the importance of optimistic and pessimistic attitudes.Naturally, though, the study cannot tell us if optimism causes these benefits or is a result of it.
However, questions remain about the practical significance of these findings for health care practitioners.”
Dr Maruta said:
“Explanatory style may have implications for prevention, intervention, health care utilization and compliance with treatment regimens.Previous research has also revealed that both extroverts and optimists are more likely to live longer than introverts and pessimists.
Well formulated studies are essential to warrant the extra time, effort and costs associated with efforts to intervene in a patient’s explanatory style or to personalize the care specific to explanatory style.”
As I wrote previously:
“Optimists have healthier hearts than pessimists, a new study of over 51,000 adults finds.The study was published in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings (Maruta et al., 2012).
Optimists also had healthier body mass indexes, were more physically active and less likely to smoke.
Researchers found that the more optimistic people were, the greater their overall physical health.
The most optimistic people were 76% more likely to have health scores that were in the ideal range.”