Laughter is said to be the best medicine, but it may be the key to longevity as well. This is what researchers from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Yeshiva University’s Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology found after working with a sample of centenarians.
During the study, which appears in the journal "Aging," researchers looked at data from 500 Ashkenazi Jews who were at least 95 years old, along with 700 of their children. According to those behind the research, Ashkenazi Jews are genetically homogenous and, as a result, ideal for a study of this nature.
While the researchers felt the centenarians’ longevity may be the result of meanness or stubbornness, the opposite turned out to be true. The study’s findings reveal that positive personality traits were more prevalent in these individuals.
"We found qualities that clearly reflect a positive attitude towards life," said Nir Barzilai, the study’s co-corresponding author. "Most were outgoing, optimistic and easygoing. They considered laughter an important part of life and had a large social network. They expressed emotions openly rather than bottling them up."
If individuals have hopes of living for a long time, they may want to consider taking a personality test to see if their outlook on life needs a readjustment.