How To Live (Much) Longer
Optimism and a positive outlook may be the essential mental attitudes that help lead to a long and active life. Those traits appear to underlie the longevity of hundreds of residents in a southern region of Italy who range in age from 90 to 101. Researchers from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and the University of Rome La Sapienza found that the longest-lived residents of nine rural villages in the Cilento area south of Naples had poorer physical health but better mental health than their family members aged 51 to 75. Most of these oldsters still work on their land and in their homes and tend to be domineering, stubborn and needed a sense of control, the researchers reported. The team also found that these 90-plus seniors are true to their convictions and could care less about what others think. And compared to family members in their 50s, 60s and 70s the super-seniors had significant self-confidence and decision-making skills. The other traits linked to the mental health of the study participants were a lifelong work ethic and a strong bond with family, religion and land, the study found.
Dilip V. Jeste et al, “Mixed-methods quantitative–qualitative study of 29 nonagenarians and centenarians in rural Southern Italy: focus on positive psychological traits.” International Psychogeriatrics, December 12, 2017, doi.org/10.1017/S1051610217002721
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