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Want to live longer? Start being more optimistic

If you want to constantly keep your employees motivated for work, you may like to review your policies and initiatives to do so. After all, when employees are optimistic and encouraged to perform well, not only are they happy, but you are happy too.

More interestingly, it makes them more likely to live longer too, a recent research from the Boston University School of Medicine, National Center for PTSD at VA Boston Healthcare System, and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health has found.

In fact, the greater their optimism, the higher their likelihood to live longer, to 85 and older.

According to the research, optimism refers to a "general expectation that good things will happen, or believing that the future will be favourable because we can control important outcomes."

As part of this research, 69,744 women and 1,429 men were assessed for their level of optimism, along with their overall health and health habits including whether they smoked, drank alcohol, and their diet.

These women and men were studied for 10 and 30 years respectively, and when their optimism level was first compared, the most optimistic ones revealed an average of 11% to 15% longer lifespan. Further, they had a 50% to 70% greater odd of reaching age 85 as compared to the least optimistic groups.

While this is so, the research did not reveal how optimism allowed people to lead longer lives. Commenting on this, senior author of the study Laura Kubzansky said: "Other research suggests that more optimistic people may be able to regulate emotions and behaviour as well as bounce back from stressors and difficulties more effectively."

It was also considered that people who were more optimistic had the tendency to practise healthier living, for instance frequent exercise and a lesser likelihood to smoke.

How can HR help employees become more optimistic?

There are many ways HR can play their part in making employees happier and more optimistic. For instance, here are 29 data-backed tips to do so, which include practising gratitude, and helping them grow.

If you need even more inspiration and want to hear the ideas of other HR leaders like yourself, you could even read about the kind of office that makes staff happy.

Most importantly, you as a leader need to display the sense of optimism and positivity which could be infectious enough to spread to your team as well. Here are the top 10 traits that people tend to see in others, with the most important being compassion, adaptability, and cooperation.

Photo / 123RF

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