Want to live to be 100? It may be as simple as mind over matter. A study in Current Gerontology and Geriatrics Research found that how healthy you think you are is a significantly better predictor of longevity than physical factors, like your blood sugar levels, or how high your blood pressure is. So, here’s how to think yourself into your centennial year and beyond:
#1: Be open to new experiences. Older people who are receptive to new, unfamiliar things are more likely to find life enjoyable. And having new experiences also gives you the skills to adapt to new problems, and cope with changes. It’s also good for the brain, because the human brain is stimulated by discovery.
Another tip for reaching your 100th birthday: Be more optimistic. Dr. John Santrock is a longevity researcher at the University of Texas, and he says that optimistic people are more likely to believe they can succeed at anything. So, they’re more likely to make changes that contribute to good health.
Another way to boost your longevity: Cultivate close relationships. Isolation raises stress levels, and high stress is associated with a range of diseases. And in older people, stress hormones stay in the bloodstream longer. But hanging out with friends lowers stress levels.
The final way to boost your longevity: Be conscientious. Studies show that people who are conscientious are more dependable, better organized, more careful and less impulsive. Conscientious people are also more likely to think things through, take better care of themselves, and are less likely to pick up bad habits, like smoking. And they consistently report better health.