Pessimists are likely to die two years earlier than optimists, study shows

Whether you’re a pessimist or an optimist, you’re probably sick of hearing about all the ways life is different for you.

Being a pessimist is associated with the not-so-nice stuff, like ill health, depression, and insomnia. Meanwhile being an optimist is said to bring more happiness and joy into your life.


According to a recent study, pessimists are likely to die two years younger than optimists. Congratulations, maybe?

Well, people have been studying the effects of seeing the glass half-full or half-empty for eons and this week, it was revealed that pessimists are likely to die two years younger than optimists. On the bright side, that means they’re less likely to witness the world crash and burn (thanks climate change).

QIMR Berghofer’s Genetic Epidemiology group in Queensland, Australia undertook the study by collecting data from over 3,000 participants aged over 50 between 1993 and 1995 to cross check their hypothesis. The lead researcher on the study, Dr. John Whitfield explained:

“We found people who were strongly pessimistic about the future were more likely to die earlier from cardiovascular diseases and other causes of death, but not from cancer… optimism scores on the other hand did not show a significant relationship with death, either positive or negative.”

He also exclaimed that “understanding that our long term health can be influenced by whether we’re a cup-half-full or cup-half-empty kind of person might be the prompt we need to try to change the way we face the world, and try to reduce negativity, even in really difficult circumstances.”

Well, in the midst of a global pandemic, economic recession and dying Earth, it seems pretty hard to keep up the optimism.

So, if you do believe that the world is full of daisies and butterflies then you’re more likely to live longer. You can make of that what you will, but perhaps being a pessimist and escaping old age’s clutches might not be such a bad thing.