Jan 01

Optimism And Stubbornness ‘Can Help You Live Longer’


Researchers from the University of Rome La Sapienza and the University of California San Diego School of Medicine have carried out a study looking at the psychological traits that can help people live longer and happier lives.

The team spoke to residents in rural Italian communities who are aged between 90 and 101, as well as interviewing their younger relatives, aged between 51 and 75. They found that all of those who lived into their 90s tended to have similar personality traits.

Among them were positivity, a strong work ethic and stubbornness, although the researchers also highlighted their strong connection to family, the land and religion. The team also noted that many of the people they spoke to are still working in their homes or on their land.

Anna Scelzo, one of the study’s authors, commented: “This tendency to control the environment suggests notable grit that is balanced by a need to adapt to changing circumstances.”

Senior author of the study Dilip V. Jeste, MD, said that exploring the lives of those who not only live longer, but who live well, “enhances our understanding of health and functional capacities in all age groups”.

Staying in your own home as you age appears to be one of the things that helps people stay independent and happy. That may mean making modifications to your property to make it viable for you to remain there.

Installing walk in power baths is one option for modifying your home to make activities like bathing easier and safer.

The strong sense of family that helps the communities in Italy may also be something we start to return to in the UK, with one estate agent recently suggesting that multigenerational living could grow in popularity. One in six of the people surveyed said they’d love to live like this.

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