We all know one of those people. You know, the super-positive, hyper-happy type that never seem to have a bad day. Instead of becoming annoyed at them for their positive outlook, maybe it’s time to take a lesson from them. It turns out that people are more likely to live longer by enjoying life!
Can You Really Live Longer by Enjoying Life?
Yep. They found that our chances of living longer increases the longer we sustain a satisfied, positive outlook in life. A study published December 13, 2016 of more than 9,000 men and women over the age of 50, took a closer look at the relationship between sustained enjoyment of life and mortality, and what they found was that there is indeed, a connection.
How Can You Influence Satisfaction in Life?
There are many ways you can influence how satisfied you feel in life:
- Hobbies â€“ Find a fulfilling hobby that you enjoy and make a point of integrating your hobby into your daily, weekly, or monthly routine (depending on the nature of the hobby).
- Employment/Retirement â€“ If you hate your job, you’re likely not enjoying life. In fact, a job high in stress and low in satisfaction can lead to decreased mental health and unhappiness, as suggested by this study in the British Medical Journal. Find a job that you enjoy that also pays the bills. Being retired and bored can also dampen your happiness, so if you’re in this boat, consider finding a job or founding your own company that revolves around some passions you have.
- Diet â€“ Foods are powerful and have a huge influence on both our mental and physical health, and not just for the future either. This study published August 2016 in the American Journal of Public Health showed evidence of â€œhappinessâ€ gains from consuming more veggies and fruits were seen almost immediately.
- Fitness â€“ Along with diet, fitness and health have a huge impact on your life enjoyment for some obvious reasons: when you feel good physically, you enjoy life more than someone dealing with chronic pain and illness. What might not be as obvious, however, is that mental health is also impacted by regular activity, even in older adults.
- Community â€“ Man was not meant to live alone but rather, in community with others. We are social creatures with a profound need to connect with others. Without these connections, we become depressed. Check out this PubMed study from 2010 that addresses this.
Live longer by enjoying life, and enjoy life by becoming more present and intentional with working on these areas of your life where you’ve been neglecting yourself. In many cases, you can work on several at a time with one shot.
- Find a new hobby in the community where you can make new friends
- Find a new job in an industry you enjoy with happy employees
- â€¦or grab a friend and work on some health and fitness goals together!