According to one new study, positivity, stubbornness and conscientious work ethic can actually lead to a longer life.
Some researchers have studied the mental, as well as the physical levels of a team of Italians aged from 90 to 101. They have discovered that there were some common psychological traits among them.
This research has been published in the International Psychogeriatrics.
It has concluded that the participants had better overall mental well – being compared to their younger family members. The researchers have attributed this to their longevity.
Some researchers at the University of California San Diego and the University of Rome La Sapienza also surveyed twenty-nine participants. They all lived in remote villages in southern Italy.
They have assessed the mental and the physical health of the participants through a series of interviews and tests.
For comparison purposes, the scientists have also conducted the same measures on the participants’ younger family members. They were asked to describe the characters, as well as the lifestyle of their older relatives.
But, not only the elderly participants had a sunny outlook on life. Moreover, a lot of them also shared stubborn personality traits. The scientists claim that these traits can be psychologically beneficial as these people care less about what other people think of them.
There was another common trait among the elderly participants and it was the passion for rural life.
As Dilip V. Jeste, the lead author of the study, as well as the professor of psychiatry and neurosciences at UC San Diego said the following:
“A number of studies on very old adults have been conducted. However, they have mostly focused on genetics rather than their mental health or their personalities. The main themes which emerged from our study appear to be unique features. Those features are associated with the better mental health of this rural population were positivity, as well as work ethic, stubbornness and strong bond with family, religion, and land.”
Jeste together with his colleagues intends to follow up their findings with some more longitudinal studies. They will examine the way in which the participants’ biological health is linked to their physical, as well as psychological health.