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Longest living people share these 2 common personality traits

[July 18, 2023: Staff Writer, The Brighter Side of News]

Repurposing drugs capable of extending lifespan and health span has a huge untapped potential in translational geroscience. (CREDIT: Creative Commons)

In an increasingly fast-paced world where people are seemingly in a perpetual state of hurry, lifestyle choices such as diet and physical activity are widely acknowledged as critical factors affecting human longevity.

Yet, the most recent discoveries in the field of longevity research suggest that our personality traits may also play a pivotal role. Therefore, it isn't just a balanced diet and regular exercise that pave the way to a long life, but possibly also the qualities inherent to our character.


Drawing on the findings encapsulated in the popular book Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life, it appears that two personality traits in particular are consistent among those who live to see their 100th birthday and beyond. These centenarians, who reside mainly in the so-called "blue zones," could hold the key to unraveling the enigma of longevity. So, what exactly are these traits, and how might they impact our lives?

The term "blue zones," first popularized in the book Ikigai, refers to specific regions of the world characterized by an unusually high concentration of centenarians. These longevity hotspots serve as rich mines of information for researchers looking to unearth the secrets to a long, contented life.


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Okinawa, an island located in Japan, is one of these blue zones, which has been brought into sharp focus due to its exceptionally high number of centenarians. The meticulous study of these regions yields profound insights into how lifestyle and genetic factors intersect in the ageing process, culminating in extraordinary lifespans that extend beyond the century mark.

Citing research carried out at Yeshiva University, the book also gives insight into the most common characteristics shared by around 250 centenarians. Their findings emphasize two key traits among these individuals - maintaining a positive attitude and having a high degree of emotional awareness.


A Positive Attitude: The Elixir of Life?

Centenarians are predominantly people who exude positivity. For them, laughter isn't merely an act but a vital life force. As they navigate through life, they prioritize tranquility and joy, often being characterized as optimistic, affable, and outgoing individuals. Their resilience and ability to find delight even amidst life's challenges is attributed to their extended, fulfilling lives.

According to one of the centenarians from Okinawa, "Life will inevitably be filled with ups and downs, but it is our ability to remain hopeful and positive that can help us weather the toughest storms." This perspective showcases the power of positivity in aiding longevity, suggesting that it could potentially even serve as a defense mechanism against the ravages of time.


Emotional Awareness: The Key to Deep-rooted Connections?

Alongside their buoyant spirits, centenarians display a high level of emotional awareness. Unlike many who might suppress their feelings, these individuals prioritize open emotional communication. They are unafraid to express their emotions, contributing significantly to the strength of their interpersonal relationships, conflict resolution, and overall well-being.

A centenarian from Okinawa shared, "Being able to express our emotions openly can help create deeper connections with the people around us. And strong relationships, in turn, can contribute to our happiness and longevity." This testimonial highlights the importance of emotional intelligence in longevity, providing insights into how acknowledging and expressing emotions can lead to a happier, healthier life.


While the definitive correlation between these traits and longevity necessitates more research, cultivating these traits can undeniably contribute towards a healthier, more joyful existence. The impact of our mental state and emotional management on our physical and mental health is profound. It's strongly linked to improved relationships, enhanced contentment, and could potentially even extend our lives.

As the Yeshiva University study suggests, the two key traits consistently identified among centenarians—positive attitude and high emotional awareness—could have a significant impact on our overall lifespan. Emphasizing joy and emotional intelligence in our daily lives might unlock the path to a fuller, more satisfying existence, regardless of our chronological age.

The secret to a longer, more fulfilling life may not lie solely in the food we consume or the physical activities we engage in, but in the simplicity of a smile, the warmth of a kind word, and the empathy of a listening ear.

These small acts of positivity and emotional intelligence could be the missing puzzle pieces in our collective quest for a longer, happier life. Such a perspective not only shifts our understanding of longevity but also illuminates a pathway towards aging that is filled with joy and deep-rooted connections.

By examining the secrets of centenarians, we are given a unique window into how our personality traits could dramatically shape our lives. A shift towards positivity and emotional awareness could, therefore, serve as a roadmap to a life marked not just by its length, but by its richness and fulfillment.


In the end, the search for a long and happy life may require us to look inward, into the depths of our personality traits, as much as it does to look outward, into our environment and lifestyle choices.

For more science news stories check out our New Discoveries section at The Brighter Side of News.


Note: Materials provided above by The Brighter Side of News. Content may be edited for style and length.


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