Grateful attitude linked to longer life in new research


A new study by Harvard University suggests that feeling thankful for the positive experiences in life may be associated with living a longer life. The study, published in JAMA Psychiatry on Wednesday, examined nearly 50,000 older female nurses and found that older women who expressed more gratitude were 9% less likely to die from any cause compared to those with lower gratitude levels.

  • How gratitude might influence longevity: The researchers posit that gratitude may encourage positive thoughts and actions, leading to healthier behaviors and better overall well-being. It may also help individuals cope with challenges and find meaning in life, especially as they age. The study’s authors noted that since the research involved only female nurses, results may not apply to the general population.

  • Healthy aging: “Prior research indicates that there are ways of intentionally fostering gratitude, such as writing down or discussing what you are grateful for a few times a week,” said lead author Ying Chen. “Promoting healthy aging is a public health priority, and we hope further studies will improve our understanding of gratitude as psychological resource for enhancing longevity.”

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