Are you friendly Open? Emotionally stable? Numerous studies involving older people around the world show that these personality traits are associated with longer life.
The study, which involved 300 couples , began in the mid-1920s. After more than 70 years, it was found that men who were perceived by their friends as more conscientious – meaning less risky, more accurate and efficient – lived longer in the end.
A study of women and men in California conducted in 1930-2000 yielded similar conclusions.
People – regardless of gender – who were considered conscientious even in childhood lived longer than their peers.
The same study showed that openness is the second trait associated with longer life , after conscientiousness. Men who valued her highly – meaning they were open to new ideas, feelings, and concepts – lived longer than others.
– One can speculate that in the oldest group, greater imagination and openness to new experiences helped them adapt to many losses (friends, family, health, functions) that have to be dealt with at an advanced age, the researchers said.
In women surveyed for 75 years, emotional stability turned out to be the trait most closely associated with long life. Perhaps this was because women were rather emotionally unstable in the 1930s when the study began . As a result, this trait acquired by them later could benefit them more than men.
Another recent study involving nearly 2,400 men and women also found that emotional stability plays a key role in longevity . This time it was true for both sexes.
The second trait associated with the long life of women turned out to be kindness. This hypothesis has been confirmed by many studies. In one of the last ones, including 243 people (75% of women) aged 95 to 100, the respondents assessed themselves as being relaxed about life.
The ability to express emotions
One recent study of people aged between 95 and 100 found that participants laughed and expressed emotions more openly than other people .
But since the study only looked at the elderly, it is difficult to say whether the traits in participants manifested themselves because of their age, or whether they always had them, and this was what ensured their longevity.