We all want to live longer, it’s kind of built into the human biology that everyone wants to stay on the planet as long as possible and one surprising way of living longer is- being stubborn… Yup. That’s it!
Well, the keys to that could be stubbornness and a strong work ethic, so for all of you stubborn workhorses, congratulations.
A new study published in International Psychogeriatrics reveals that folks who live to 100 tend to be stubborn, resilient, adaptable, and positive. The study also found that these 90 to 100-year-olds have a strong work ethic and close bonds with their family, religion, and country.
The analysis studied the lives of 29 senior residents from Italy’s Cilento region (an area known for being the home of a large senior population). Researchers interviewed the individuals and their families to learn more about their lives. In addition to their headstrong ways, the experts found these seniors to be highly adaptable to change, which also helps them balance seemingly conflicting traits, like stubbornness and positivity.
As a comparison, they surveyed younger members of the participants’ families – who were asked to describe the personalities of their older relatives.
“These people have been through Depressions, they’ve been through migrations, they’ve lost loved ones,” said the author of the study and associate dean at the Center of Healthy Aging at the UC San Diego School of Medicine Dr. Dilip Jeste. “In order to flourish, they have to be able to accept and recover from the things they can’t change, but also fight for the things they can.”
Another common thread was a passion for life in the countryside.
Jeste said, “There have been a number of studies on very old adults, but they have mostly focused on genetics rather than their mental health or personalities… The main themes that emerged from our study, and appear to be the unique features associated with the better mental health of this rural population, were positivity, work ethic, stubbornness and a strong bond with family, religion, and land.”
In order to get more reliable results and concrete evidence of this correlation, Jeste and the rest of his team are planning on following up this report with more longitudinal studies which will go further in depth about how the participants’ biological health compares with their physical and psychological health.
But for now, just dig your heels in and don’t take no for an answer on anything, your health will thank you for it.