Sunday, August 9, 2009

Live Long and Prosper

I just read an interesting article that claims personality can be factor in successful aging.

Here are a few highlights (the parts in italics are quoted from the article):

- “Successful older people are willing to branch out,” … “They keep engaging with the world -- expanding, not constricting.”

- conscientiousness is directly related to better health and therefore better longevity

- high extraversion levels raise life expectancy in part because such levels are associated with strong social circles and looking after oneself. … These are people who surround themselves with people who really matter to them -- and the extrovert has the sense to best make and maintain those relationships.”

- This one surprised me: no studies have definitively linked disagreeable types to diminished health or higher early mortality.

- Neurotic people live shorter lives … These are the people who interpret a friendly comment as a cutting criticism and a small complication as an impossible challenge.

One of my ‘bucket list’ items is to have a huge party on my 100th birthday. Although I am not especially extroverted and I am sometimes neurotic, this article tells me there is a decent chance that I'll hit that goal.

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