For decades weâve been told that stress can kill you, that happy people live longer and that hours in the gym will keep you healthy. Now researchers have turned this kind of long-cherished conventional wisdom on its head. The new mantra: Stress can be goodfor you. Serious people may live longer than those with sunny dispositions. The treadmill may not hold the key to longevity.
Less cheery folks, more room for apathy! Yay! CONFETTI!
Wait, that's not exactly the right response. So, there's that.
I'm not really apathetic at all, I just don't understand being positive for no reason. I need a reason. Show me why, and I am behind it 100%, positively.
These conclusions come from a unique study, which followed 1,500 Californians across eight decades. The study is described in a new book, âThe Longevity Project.â Study co-author Leslie Martin says that some of the new results surprised both her and her co-author, Howard Friedman.
- Not all stress is the same. If you hate your job, ditch it before the stress kills you. But, if you love your job, donât sweat the stress.
- Reach out and touch someone â on a regular basis. People who connect with friends and family tend to live longer.
- Donât make your dog your best friend. Pets are all well and good, but they are no substitute for human contact.
- Be careful about who you choose to marry. A good marriage may lead to longevity, but a bad marriage â and divorce â can shave years off your life.
- If youâre an exceedingly sunny person, tone it down a bit. âPeople tend to think of cheerfulness as good, but we found exactly the opposite,â Martin says. âCheerful kids lived shorter lives. That was a big shocker.â
Overly optimistic people tend not to be as careful as those who have a more serious take on life. âIf youâre one of those people who expects things will always turn out great, you may benefit from listening to the perspectives of others,â Martin says. âAwareness is a key component. And being a little more prepared and a little more risk-averse.â
- If you hate the gym, donât go. While itâs good to be fit, youâll never stick with an exercise regimen that you hate or that bores you.
- Donât retire early. A lot of people think that early retirement will help them live longer, but the study shows that the opposite might be true.
- The Longevity Project