Pessimists Live Longer…Oh Yeah?

A study that began a staggering eight decades ago, called The Longevity Project, back in 1921 following a group of around 1,500 children is finally ready with its findings and some of them are rather surprising.

Contrary to popular belief that it’s better for us to be optimists, the study has found that pessimism is good for us as it helps us to manage risk better.  I am on a mission to out-live my tortoise (highly unlikely) so I’d better stop my naturally optimistic ways, my tortoise looks quite grumpy and pessimistic too so that must be one of her secrets.

Another interesting find is that women in a stable marriage and women who are stably single also enjoy good health mainly due to women having strong social networks.   Stress and worry are not always bad for our health, regardless of sex, as long as we find our work gives us meaning in life.

So here’s to friends and family, live long and prosper!


5 Comments to “Pessimists Live Longer…Oh Yeah?”

  1. I have a cousin who falls on the pesimistic side of things, but she informs me she is a realist.

    Would I really want to live grumpy and old or knock off a few years in blissful giggles?

  2. Yes, but as you’ll see in the book, the long-living realists had meaningful, productive, successful lives.
    For more information about The Longevity Project and to read the Introduction (free), go to

    There is also a Facebook page with lots of discussion about The Longevity Project.

  3. Hi Dr F

    Thanks for the link to your website – I would have usually assumed that a report of this nature woudl be interesting but beyond the realms of my understanding. However, now having read the Intorduction, I can see that it is written in plain English and what a fascinating study it appears to be. I look forward to receiving my copy from Amazon!

  4. I guess this explains why old people become grumpy – they want to carry on living!!! Vakeel Bibi, I know what I would prefer. I have an aunt who at 60 is youthful and fun. She may not live to 90 but she will loving life.

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