Want to Live 12 Years Longer?
Want to Live 12 Years Longer? A 30-Year Study Says Embracing an Optimism Mindset Is a Major Predictor of Longevity
Even better news: Since only 25 percent of your level of optimism is hereditary, becoming more positive is largely something you control. Here's how.
How to Be More Optimistic
Research shows that approximately 25 percent of our optimism set-point is genetic. That means 75 percent of your level of optimism can be shaped and learned.
In one study, participants who spent five minutes a day for two weeks imagining their "best possible self" (in terms of professional, relationship, and personal goals) experienced significant increases in optimism.
If visualization isn't your thing -- it definitely isn't mine -- try another approach. If, as Jim Rohn says, we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with, simply spend more time with optimistic people. They'll be more encouraging. They'll be more supportive. Their enthusiasm will naturally rub off on you.
If spending time in groups isn't your thing -- it kind of isn't mine -- then take a step back and think about your mindset. Generally speaking, people fall into two camps. Those with a fixed mindset believe that intelligence, ability, and skill are inborn and relatively fixed. That we are what we were born with.
Someone with a fixed mindset might say, "I didn't handle that well. I'm not cut out to be a leader."
People with a growth mindset believe that intelligence, ability, and skill can be developed through effort. That we are what we work to become. Someone with a growth mindset might say, "I didn't handle that well, but next time I'll make sure I'm more prepared."
People who embrace a growth mindset believe success is based on effort and application, not innate talent.
That makes YOU more optimistic.
And will help YOU live a longer, healthier life.