Living a long time is not a possibility linked exclusively to physical factors. The mental approach is fundamental, if not even decisive, because the propensity to feel good and to organize one’s life according to healthy and balanced rules starts from the head.
In fact, many centenarians attribute their longevity, at least in part, to their positive attitude. But there are those who do not agree with this vision. Because according to David Watsonprofessor emeritus of personality psychology at the University of Notre Dame, “Although many centenarians believe that being positive has played a role in their longevity, the relationship between personality and aging is deeper,” he explains to CNBC. “I think the effects of simply being positive are overestimated,” adds the psychologist, then stating that there are other traits that may be closely linked to longevity.
The five key factors of personality
When analyzing personality, it is worth considering the five-factor model, a theory that suggests that most people’s traits can be grouped into five categories: opening, awareness, extroversion, pleasantness And neuroticism.
Consciousness, or the way one is organized and self-disciplined in life, is the aspect most linked to longevity according to Watson. This is probably due to the fact that people with high levels of conscientiousness are better at taking care of themselves. For example, they tend to drink alcohol in moderation and eat more balanced meals: “Conscientious people don’t do stupid things, so they have lower accident rates and better health behaviors,” says Watson.
The good news is that it is possible to increase your awareness with age. They even exist mindfulness seminars that seek to increase a person’s ability to self-regulate, Watson says. “The basic idea is, if you want to increase your awareness, act more conscientiously and the attitude will become a consequence of the behavior,” she says. «Try to be punctual with things, to keep a commitment. This doesn’t mean that a positive attitude is useless,” adds Watson. «Especially when it comes to overcoming stressful situations: Psychologically positive people have faster recovery times“, he claims. «They are able to say to themselves: “It’s not a big problem” and find a way to re-center their balance».
Ultimately: if you live a healthy lifestyle and are able to recover from difficulties, this is certainly the right way to ensure a longer and more satisfying life.
Source: Vanity Fair
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