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Optimists Live Longer and Other Top Reasons to Stay Positive
(and HOW to do it in This Economy)



Expecting good things rather than bad things to happen, or being optimistic, does much more than just put a smile on your face, it may add years to your life.


Focusing on the brighter side of life may help you to live a longer, healthier and happier life.

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh analyzed data from more than 100,000 women and found those who were optimistic were:

  • 14 percent less likely to die from any cause than pessimists
  • 30 percent less likely to die from heart disease after eight years of follow-up
  • Less likely to have high blood pressure, diabetes or smoke cigarettes

Further, women who were very mistrustful of others, a trait researchers called “cynically hostile,” were 16 percent more likely to die during the study period, and 23 percent more likely to die from cancer, than women who were not.

As though you need even MORE reasons to get happy, past research from Yale University found that those who are optimistic in middle age can expect to add at least 7.5 years to their life -- even after adjusting for age, gender, physical health and socioeconomic status.

And research from The Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania has found people who are happy:

  • Do better at work, school and sports
  • Are less depressed
  • Have fewer physical health problems
  • Have better relationships

You Can be Optimistic Even in Tough Times

With unemployment rates rising and the U.S. recession showing no signs of slowing, it may seem like an odd time to be optimistic. But in reality it may be the ideal time.

“The best of times emotionally, are often not the best economically,” says John Dearlove, founder of “My Grandparents used to talk affectionately about the good old days. These stories inevitably included the Great Depression and how they made it through and overcame the trials and tribulations while lovingly remembering their passion for each other. The worst of times often brings people together and helps you realize greater value for each other. It can also drive you apart at first, until you realize what’s most important is nurturing your meaningful relationships -- instead of focusing on materialistic things.”

Staying Healthy in a Stressful World

stress free relax

Too much stress makes it difficult to stay positive, but no worries. This complete training program CD will allow you to:

  • Identify the Three Major Sources of Stress and embark on a practice for transforming your stress into life-enhancing experiences.
  • Choose from a menu of 14 Short Mental Imagery Exercises for addressing such stressors as anger, anxiety, disappointment, guilt, regret, sadness, decision making and more.
  • Learn and practice the Physical Stress Buster series, designed for use right at your desk.
  • Use the Mind-Body Progressive Relaxation to shift gears, replenish your energy, and increase your vitality and clarity of mind.
Read More & Order Staying Healthy in a Stressful World Now!

In fact, although just 17 percent of those who responded to a new survey by Qualtrics Labs Inc. said they were happy or somewhat happy with America’s overall quality of life, 34 percent still believe their overall quality of life will improve in 2009, and 35 percent believe the economy will improve as well.

"Research shows Americans are surprisingly optimistic about their future quality of life despite saying they are very unhappy about their current state," said Ryan Smith, director of Qualtrics. "These two statistics may reflect the resiliency of America -- as things get worse, we become increasingly optimistic for a brighter future."

The TOP Way to Stay Positive in Tough Times

A hard time is only a bad thing if you let it be. In other words, YOU control how you view a situation and whether you perceive it negatively or positively. So if negative thoughts enter your mind, do not give them any attention.

Instead, focus on the many good things in your life and be grateful for what you have, especially the things you may take for granted, like food, shelter, your health and people who love you, and whom you love in return.

“The ability to be in the moment in a relaxed state of mind is key, no matter what the world around you is doing, you must know that you are physically, spiritually and emotionally all right,” Dearlove says.

“In fact, your life can become fantastic and you can overcome all hardship by switching your attitude to one that turns adversity into opportunity,” he continues.

Practicing daily affirmations after you wake up, before bed or anytime during the day can help your thoughts to focus only on the bright side. When you feel stressed out, affirmations can also help you to relax. The Pure Relaxation CD, which uses guided meditations and music that will calm your mind, soothe your emotions and create a state of deep relaxation in your body, is a also an excellent tool to help you do so.

And remember, dwelling over the past (either good or bad times), worrying about the future or even waiting until tomorrow to “get your life together” causes you unnecessary stress and hardship. Focus instead on the present moment and what’s happening here and now.

Enjoy the little moments -- the time spent with your family, a walk in the woods, watching the sunset -- and revel in the peace and well-being it will bring to your life.

Recommended Reading

Can Comedy Films Help Increase Your Heart Health?

Research Shows You Can Worry Yourself Into Dementia and Even Alzheimer's

Sources March 5, 2009

ASTD February 13, 2009

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