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Having a positive outlook on life has been shown to affect our health and even add years on to our lives. A Dutch study examined the attitudes and life-expectancies of 999 people over the age of 65. The study found that people with a positive attitude lived longer. They even had a 77 percent lower risk of heart disease than pessimists.

While researchers aren’t entirely sure what the link is between positivity and longevity, it has been suggested that negative thinkers are quicker to complain, get angry and frustrated, thus making them more easily stressed than their go-with-the-flow positive peers. This stress can fuel inflammation in the body, which in turn, speeds up aging.

What can we do to think more positively?

1.)    Be grateful. Write a few things down in a journal each nice that you are grateful for. The more you practice writing down what you are thankful for, you’ll realize how much there truly is to appreciate in your life.

2.)    Stop complaining. Give yourself a little challenge over the next couple of weeks to stop complaining, criticizing or groaning about everything that is “going wrong” in your life. Instead focus on the good things that are happening around you.

3.)    Adjust your perception of aging now. People should get better as they get older, so try to find and embrace the insight and maturity that comes along with age.

4.)    Focus on living a simple, happy and healthy life.