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Positive emotions and longevity

Two for You — take two minutes to live and lead with intention

Episode 4.10

Positive emotions make our days brighter and more full, but did you know that these same positive emotions can give us more days in our life? Research, such as the Nun Study from the University of Kentucky, shows the correlation between positive emotions and longevity. Why not give it a try?

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Transcript

Note: Two for You written transcripts are generated using a combination of speech recognition software and human transcribers, and may contain errors. Please check the corresponding audio before referencing content in print.

[Denise] Hello and welcome to Two for You. So, today Lori and I have been experiencing a lot of different types of positive emotions out here in the winter tundra of Minnesota. And it made us think of this study done in the 1930s.

A group of nuns was asked to record their life up until that point. And then those essays sat there and sat there and 60 years later 3 researchers from the University of Kentucky found those essays and decided to look at them in their studies about Alzheimer's.

[Lori] Right, here's what they found. On average, the nuns who had more positive emotions expressed In their writings or wrote about their positive experiences in their lives, lived on average 10 years longer than the other people.

[Denise] And so what we took from that is that experiencing positive emotions can actually increase your longevity. And so take note of what's going on in your day to day life, take note of the things that make you happy and joyful and grateful and pique your interest. Do that as you live and lead with intention.


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Authors: Lori Rothstein, Extension educator, leadership and civic engagement; Denise Stromme, former Extension educator

Reviewed in 2020

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