Fields of medicine today are as popular as those devoted to the study of longevity. Deciphering what could help people live longer has become extremely difficult since it was proven that humanity could defeat infection – until not long ago, humanity was most responsible for the death of species – and that this technology is capable of feats. Huge efforts in prevention and health maintenance. For years, the search for the secrets of an extended existence has focused on unlocking the biological mechanisms of aging and ways to circumvent them. So far, the endeavor is going well. The question now is what can be done besides the physical aspect. Hence the interest of science in moving towards psychological conditions and personality traits associated with curbing and treating diseases. Because it is precisely in this area that optimism appears as an important component of longevity.
Medical and behavioral sciences over the past few years have created a solid database that gives dimension to how keeping light and focus on the full side of the glass, they say, contributes to its long-awaited longevity. One of the most active teams in this field is the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health in the United States, whose studies indicate that the greater the confidence in a better future, the longer the life span. Those who cultivate optimism earn about 15% more than their days of existence and up to 70% more over the age of 85, compared to pessimists.
Recently, Harvard researchers took the leap by publishing the most comprehensive and diverse study on the topic, which included a sample of a variety of racial and ethnic groups. The goal was to see if optimists from different cultures would benefit to different degrees from this state of mind. It turns out no. “The benefits were scored equally among all,” said Hayami Koga, survey coordinator. Consensus on the cause-and-effect relationship is supported by analyzes that take into account, for example, the relationship between optimism and specific diseases. An example is related to cardiovascular disease. After reviewing fifteen studies that collected 230,000 participants and were followed, on average, for fourteen years, it became clear that people who had hoped for the best had a lower risk of heart attack or stroke. Another study, presented at the International Conference of the American Stroke Association, showed that a positive mental state significantly reduces the severity of the consequences after three months, reducing the likelihood of further complications.
Understanding how optimism produces gains of this magnitude is a formidable challenge. The combination of the physical and behavioral phenomena that cause it is believed to be an effective treatment. First, individuals who tend to believe that life follows an upward curve react more calmly in the face of stressful situations. And they are, as we know, a terrible enemy of luxury. “A very constructive way of dealing with high stress scenarios is an advantage that optimists have,” explains Luena Lee, from Boston University in the US. One of the tricks of this part of humanity is mental ingenuity in the face of difficult circumstances. “They persevere quickly using the problem-solving centers of the brain,” says Darwin Labarth of Northwestern University in the US. In general, on-demand optimists are also more accepting of treatments, visit doctors more often, and exercise more often. They also maintain social connections and cultivate purpose in life, attitudes that matter most to balanced health.
These findings are so significant that the American Heart Association released a statement corroborating the information and urging physicians to monitor their patients’ moods. “The data are consistent in showing that positive psychological traits play an essential role in good cardiovascular health,” the paper’s authors wrote. The difficulty is how to transform the shift from pessimism, especially in times of adversity. There is still another question to delve into: How not to fall for an equally misleading scam with too much positivity. While viewing the world with a negative eye is often crippling, the opposite can bring a dangerous sense of impunity.
Progress in the study of the mind has everything to help you find the right place. However, you must have goals and work towards them. Another recommendation may seem self-help, but it has a high scientific content: pay more attention to what happened, including recording pleasant memories on paper. “Recognizing the good times and expressing gratitude for them is a powerful resource,” stresses researcher Elisa Kozasa, of Israelita Albert Einstein Hospital, in São Paulo. Mindfulness exercise, the so-called Full focus of the mind, was also martyred. “It is possible to train our minds to take a less judgmental attitude, and to appreciate positive moments,” instructs Doctor Marcelo Demarzo, of the Federal University of São Paulo. Worth the effort. It will guarantee you many good years of life.
Sabrina Carmo teamed up
Posted in VEJA on Jun 29, 2022, Issue 2795
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