UPDATED: Mar 26, 2020
We strive to help you make confident insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We partner with top insurance providers. This doesn't influence our content. Our opinions are our own.
While eating right and staying active can help contribute to longevity, your personality can also play a role. Researchers are speculating that personality could have an effect on your lifespan. The character traits below may just help those who possess them lead longer lives and, in turn, outlive their term life insurance policies.
Studies have found that older people who report being happy have a 35 percent decreased risk of dying over five years. More than 3,000 people were evaluated by researchers who monitored their happiness throughout the day, and then followed up five years later to see how many had died. Frequent laughter is also linked to a longer lifespan. Some researchers expected to find that people over 100 years old survived so long in part because they were mean and ornery. But when the personalities of these people were assessed, qualities were found that clearly reflect a positive attitude towards life.
Conscientiousness has also been found to be one of the best personality traits for longevity. Young adults who are thrifty, persistent, detail-oriented and responsible often live the longest. According to studies, this group is more likely to take care of their health, avoid risks and they also develop healthier relationships. These folks seem to have a biological predisposition toward a more conservative personality which leads to a longer life.
A recent study found that healthy social relationships can boost survival odds by 50 percent. So thank your friends and family for helping you live longer. It turns out constant interaction is not only beneficial psychologically but directly to our physical health.
Optimism may just tack on years to your life. Centenarians, or those who live passed the ripe age of 100, were evaluated in one particular study. Most were optimistic and easygoing. Some evidence indicates that personality can change between the ages of 70 and 100, so it is not known whether the centenarians have maintained their personality traits across their entire lifespans. Nevertheless, the findings suggest that centenarians share particular personality traits and that genetically-based aspects of personality may play an important role in achieving both good health and exceptional longevity.
One study looked at the offspring of centenarians, and the volunteers were typically considered extroverted and showed little to no signs of neuroticism. People who are low in neuroticism can manage or regulate stressful situations more effectively than those with higher neuroticism levels. Similarly, high extroversion levels have been associated with establishing friendships and looking after yourself.
So don’t worry, be happy, be conscientious, be social, be optimistic and be extroverted. With these traits, you will find yourself enjoying a longer, fuller life. And you may just outlive your term life insurance policy!