Thursday, March 17, 2011

Why misery guts might have the last laugh

One might think that being cheerful, worrying less and taking things easy would be the passports to a long and healthy life but new research from the University of California, Riverside suggests that this could be wrong. The researchers used information first gathered by the Stanford University Psychologist Louis Terman on more than 1,500 gifted children who were around 10 when they were first studied in 1921 and who were tracked throughout their lives. The study found that the children who were the most cheerful and who had the best sense of humour as children lived shorter lives on average while those people who were most prudent and persistent throughout their lives lived longest. The cheerful, happy-go-lucky children tended to take more risks with their health over the years. People who were more committed to, and involved in, their work also lived longer while starting formal schooling early was a risk factor for early mortality. People who felt loved and cared for felt a greater sense of wellbeing but didn't necessarily live any longer.

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