Posted on March 1, 2013 | No Comments
by Linda Herman
What’s this? Pessimists live longer than “overly optimistic” people? That’s what has been reported by the American Psychological Association. Researchers at the University of Erlang-Nuremberg in Germany studied people’s attitudes about the future. They concluded that those who are pessimistic about what their lives will look like in 5 years tend to be more cautious in how they live in the present. This translates to paying more attention to their health and taking safety precautions. And because of being careful and paying more attention to their health, they live longer.
We might expect that people with more financial resources might be among those that take better care of their health. So is it that negative people with the financial means to take better care of themselves live longer and with less disability?
Nope. Wrong again. People with higher income were at more risk of disability.
Now what do we do with this information besides scratch our collective heads?
I’d like to see the details of this study, as well as other studies on the same topic. And maybe therapists need to rethink their efforts to help clients have more positive outlooks. Might that just endanger their health?
A little pessimism may go a long ways.