smileThe way you look at yourself affects your life—your career prospects, your relationships with others, and according to a study, even your life expectancy. Researchers from the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine at the University of Zurich were able to find evidence that your self-assessment can have an impact on your life over a period of 30 years.

Conducted in Switzerland, the study required participants to rate their own health in these terms: excellent, good, fair, poor, and very poor. The men who gave themselves a very poor rating were said to be 3.3 times more likely to die than those men of the same age who gave themselves an excellent rating. In the meantime, women who likewise assessed their health as very poor were 1.9 times more at risk than those who rated themselves in excellent health.

Furthermore, researchers believe that self-assessment is an accurate indicator of lifespan, even if you exclude external factors such as background, education, and medical history. To a certain extent, these factors do affect mortality, but the difference does not appear to be of significant value.

Using this study as a basis, it would appear that thinking yourself healthy could increase your chances of a longer and more contented life. Try adopting a more positive outlook on your health on your life. After all, being happy is good for you--in more ways than one--and a previous study shows it can also help you live longer.

For more on positivity, check out these articles:

(Photo by GregPC via Flickr Creative Commons)

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