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Optimism Promotes Long Life

“Don’t worry, be happy” may just be the medicine you need to enjoy a long life. Optimism is one of the most important tools to combat stress which is a known risk factor for heart disease and other illnesses.

Anthony Ong of Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., conducted a review of researchers, published in the Current Directions in Psychological Science, suggesting that a positive outlook may be the cure for stress, pain and illness. The study shows people with stronger positive emotions have lower levels of chemicals associated with inflammation related to stress.

How do you develop a positive attitude if you don’t have one already? For starters, be silly, says Loretta Laroche, published motivational speaker who also serves on the faculty of Boston’s Mind-Body Institute. She teaches that laughter is important for reducing stress and maintaining a healthy life. Being silly is one way to learn how to laugh at yourself.

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