Research discovers positivity could help you live longer

Accentuate the positive and reap the health benefits.

New research has discovered that it really could be better to look on the bright side of life – because it could help you to live longer and feel healthier.

A team at the University of Queensland in Australia recruited 50 65 to 90-year-olds, all of whom were asked to look at a series of positive and negative photos. They were recalled at a later date and asked to remember as many of the photos as they could, with their immune function also being measured.

It was found that people who focused on the positive pictures were more likely to be happier and healthier – with improved immune functioning due to more antibodies in their blood – than the people who remembered more negative images.

Writing in the journal Psychology and Ageing, lead researcher Elise Kalokerinos said: "By selectively remembering the positive, older adults seem to boost their immune functioning just when they need it the most. A person who focuses on positive information over negative information may be better able to cope with stressful situations, may take a more positive long-term outlook on life, and may maintain positive social interactions."

The research comes after a previous study from the US found that regular exposure to disturbing images such as those of the World Trade Center on fire in 2001 or the Boston bombings could damage people's mental health, triggering depression and anxiety. This is especially applicable at a time when the news is regularly carrying pictures of terrorist atrocities and war.

It therefore may be a good idea to make more time for positive thinking in your day-to-day life, perhaps using the positive affirmations we have discussed before on these pages.

You could also consider making regular time for a chat to a psychic life coach, who will help you identify where you might be unwittingly letting negativity in.

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