Scientists have been hunting for the secrets of longevity. In one recent discovery, researchers find that personality traits may be significant in extending one’s life even living up to 100 years. Such personality traits include having and maintaining a positive outlook, stubbornness, and keeping busy
The last one, keeping yourself busy is interesting as this is one of the traits of a Japanese doctor who lived over 100 years.
Study Says Elders Have Better Mental Health
This study1 is done in Italy in the remote villages of Cilento region. The participants were residents with ages over 90 years old. The researchers focused their attention on 29 participants with age ranges between 90 to 101 years old.
The researchers noticed that these senior individuals have poorer physical health than their younger members in the family. However, when it comes to mental health, they are healthier than younger ones.
Personality Traits Influence Longevity
Senior author of the study says previous studies on old adults have been done but mostly focused on genetics. On the other hand, this study, in particular, focuses on personality traits and mental health on its impact on longevity.
Dr. Dilip Jeste, lead author, and professor of psychiatry and neurosciences at the University of California says;
The main themes that emerged from the study, and appear to be the unique features associated with better mental health of this rural population, were positivity, work ethic, stubbornness and a strong bond with family, religion, and land.
Furthermore, Anna Scelzo, a mental health worker says that this group of seniors have love of their lands. In fact, this is a common theme of their life’s purpose. Most of these older adults are still working with a motto “This is my life and I’m not going to give it up.”
These older adults really have a sense of purpose in their life. They keep themselves busy and stubborn, which is simply another word for persistence. Additionally, the researchers also discovered that these old adults have crucial skills in making decisions and highly confident.
Their level of self-confidence and skills in making decisions are significantly higher than their younger counterparts. Lead author of the study, Jeste says;
This paradox of aging supports the notion that well-being and wisdom increase with aging, even though physical health is failing.
What Previous Study Says?
It seems there was a previous study on this one but didn’t found a clear connection between personality traits and longevity. However, one researcher recommends that getting into a positive mentality and positive personality traits is a good thing.
A Centenarian War Veteran’s Secret To Longevity
Want more tips on how to live longer? Well, take the words from a centenarian war veteran. He smokes cigars but listens to what he says and he is doing it. Pretty interesting mindset, which may play a role living over 100 years old.
What Can Shorten Lifespan?
Another thing that could possibly shorten lifespan or cause premature death includes heart disease and other chronic conditions. On the other hand, one researcher says that while depression itself does not cause a direct effect on shortening lifespan, it causes physical health issues.
In turn, these health issues can cause struggles. Moreover, the participants in this study will still be monitored regardless the study is already published. Jeste adds;
Studying the strategies of exceptionally long-lived and lived-well individuals, who not just survive but also thrive and flourish, enhances our understanding of health and functional capacities in all age groups.
Looking at the study, it seems that lifestyle really matters. Since these old adults are living in remote village tilling their lands, we can tell their diet is pretty healthy. We know that Italy is part of the Mediterranean known for its anti-inflammatory diet.
Another thing these people have in common, they’re pretty active. They’re not sitting all day living a sedentary lifestyle. Working on a land is not a joke. It requires a decent amount of labor plus they are for sure, expose to sunlight.
Sunlight is a good source of energy, and of course, Vitamin D that plays many roles in health and well-being.
So, if you’re living in an urban environment, make sure you get plenty of physical activities. Exercise regularly even as simple as walking daily, running, socializing, and don’t forget to drink your coffee.