20 February 2011

secrets unveiled

Sunday has a symbolic meaning for many people. For many it is the day of rest, of worship, and of family. One of the things it often reminds me of, especially in the morning, is Parade - you know, the thing that comes in the newspaper.
I started reading Parade a while ago during breakfast, and sometimes they have really good stuff in there. Sometimes they don't today they had some great stuff. the feature article was all about how to live a long life. The listed some of the biggest myths about the secrets to sticking around a long time, and they actually surprised me.
Yesterday I was talking about Type A and Type B personality. Type As, as you often hear, are the ultra competitive, organized, control freak leaders of everything. They are the ones who get things done, who are always ready to beat someone in a game, and they are also the most stressed and worrisome. Type B people are the more laid back, go with the flow, let it go, easy, carefree, people. They normally have less health problems. Type As are often said to be a lot more likely to die of heart disease than others.
Which is why this myth surprised me: worrying yourself to death. It's not true. It is true that people who worry so much can cause themselves to have a heart attack (myocardial infarction), but the key to living "forever" is not to let things go and have a chill, "whatever" and lax attitude about everything. In fact, according to the article, those who are organized, care about what they are doing, and are even a little obsessive, will live longer.
This also ties into another myth: taking it easy will help you out. It actually won't. Those who retire early on and who relax too much will not necessarily live longer. Stick to your job for as long as you can to keep your mind sharp.
And marriage plays a bigger role than you think. It had people fooled into thinking that you ca live longer if you are married. it's not true. But what is true is that married men will live longer than single men. As for women, you can be single, married, or divorced and it wouldn't make a difference. Interesting..
Another: All the schooling in the world will not help you live forever. I don't see the correlation. But the point is, you could have dropped out of high school or been an Oxford graduate with a Ph.D (or D.Phil, as they day in Ox) in metaphysics and these facts would not have determined your final age. However, well-educated people tend to live longer than those who are not, perhaps because they know of better ways to take care of themselves.
We all know exercise is important, but when your young it doesn't matter as much, regarding longevity. As long as you are active in your adulthood and late adulthood, you will be healthy.
And here is another odd one: there may be hope for shy people. Some thought that only outgoing people would live a long time, but they say that the less social, who tend to have more stable relationships, jobs, and thus, lives, lived a long time.
And for the optimists, I wouldn't be so optimistic on this one: these hopeful folk don't win the race in longevity. They might be so optimistic that they ignore their problems. In fact, the happy people also do not live as long. Ironic, because happiness is also linked to good health. I don't agree on this one.
But either way, I thought it was cool to see what science has told us about long lives and happiness.
But it shouldn't matter how long we are here. I mean, it does. But we should make the most of what we have, right?

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