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Positive Emotions an Essential Anti-Aging Component

Posted Feb 04 2011 12:31am
Posted on 2011-02-03 06:00:00 in Lifestyle | Longevity |
Positive Emotions an Essential Anti-Aging Component

It is generally accepted that the aging process is resultant from gradual declines in fundamental aspects of the neuroendocrine, cardiovascular, and immune systems, each of which contributes to increased risks of disease incidence and death. Anthony D. Ong, from Cornell University (New York, USA) studied the role of positive emotion as a mitigating factor to offset the risks of morbidity and mortality in older adults.  An optimistic outlook has been shown by previous researchers to combat stress, a known risk factor for many diseases.  As well, previous studies have found that people with stronger positive emotions have lower levels of chemicals associated with inflammation related to stress. And finally, studies suggest that the adoption of a positive attitude may help to reverse some of the physical damage caused by stress. Writing that: “positive emotion [may be]  a contributing factor in lowering morbidity and mortality in older adults,” Dr. Ong submits that, taken collectively, the existing data suggest that positive emotions may be a powerful antidote to stress, pain, and illness. 

Anthony D. Ong.  “Pathways Linking Positive Emotion and Health in Later Life.”  Current Directions in Psychological Science, December 2010, 19: 358-362; doi:10.1177/0963721410388805.  

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