Don't Worry, Be Happy!

Published Online: Wednesday, January 1, 2003

People who view aging as a positive experience may live an average of 7.5 years longer than those who are frequently anxious, angry, or depressed. According to research findings published in the New York Times (November 19, 2002), this lengthened longevity is far greater than the 4 years one can expect to add by lowering blood pressure or cholesterol. ?It also beats exercise, not smoking and maintaining a healthy weight, strategies that add 1 to 3 years.?

On the other hand, according to Toshihiko Maruta, MD, a psychiatrist at the Mayo Clinic, ?Personality is stable. There might be fluctuations now and then, but I?m not sure we can really change.? Still, thinking happy thoughts clearly cannot hur



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