Positive Attitude Boosts Longevity in Older Adults
A team of Australian researchers has found that positive attitude can boost immune system and increase lifespan.
Researchers at the University of Queensland, conducted a study on 50 older adults aged between 65-90 years and followed them for two years. They found that positive attitude played a key role in healthy ageing. According to them, seniors who focused on positive information were more likely to have stronger immune system and also increased lifespan.
"Despite the fact that people often think of late life as a period of doom and gloom, older people are often more positive than younger people," said Dr. Elise Kalokerinos, the lead researcher, in a statement. "Our research suggests that this focus on the positive may help older people protect their declining health."
In this study, the researchers showed the participants a series of positive and negative photos. The participants were then asked to recall the photos later. Using a series of blood tests, they measured the participants' immune function. The researchers noticed that, those were correctly able to recall positive images more than negative images, had an enhanced immune functioning, even two years later.
"Participants who recalled more positive than negative images had antibodies in their blood suggesting stronger immune systems than those of their counterparts, who did not show this positivity in memory," she said. "By selectively remembering the positive, older adults seem to boost their immune functioning just when they need it the most."
It is a well-documented fact that happiness offers a bounty of health benefits and in this study, the researchers showed that older people receive the same positive health effects by focusing only on positive information.
Those who shift their focus to positive information rather than negative information, have an enhanced ability to deal with stressful situations. Apart from this, they maintain positive social interaction and have a more positive long-term outlook on life. The finding was documented in the Journal Psychology and Aging.