Here’s some uplifting news. Research is supporting our long-held belief that optimism is associated with good things. Findings are that optimism favors longevity in older women, and better emotional health in older men.
The study of women, which included women of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds, also examined their health habits as possible confounders thinking that those variables could explain their greater longevity. The researchers found that healthy lifestyle only accounted for about 25% of the effect observed. So yes, maintain your health habits but also nurture your positivity (as hard as that can be these days).
As for men, their optimism resulted in a reduction of negative feelings that was partially explained by less exposure to stressful situations. This study sample included mostly white, mostly economically secure men so we don’t know if this finding would hold in a more diverse sample.