Good News for Optimists: You Age Better Than Pessimists

Here's a new reason to at least try to keep your head up: a new study at the University of Hamburg in Germany proved that showed that "simply focusing your brain on positive thoughts, and living for the moment, rather than looking too far into the future, can help maintain good mental health," reports the Telegraph (via Jezebel):

Dr Stefanie Brassen, the study’s author, said that successful ageing came down to “the positivity effect”.

She said this was “a biased tendency towards and preference for positive, emotionally gratifying experiences”.

When elderly subjects were presented with a photo of a happy face, researchers found heightened brain activity in the areas that control emotions and mental health—crucial elements in maintaining an active and alert brain well into old age. So maybe my own cynical generation should lighten up a bit. At the very least, it's some incentive to look on the brighter side of things; may we suggest reading AlterNet's Activism and Vision section, perhaps?

 

AlterNet / By Julianne Escobedo Shepherd

Posted at July 18, 2011, 6:04am

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