How can cynicism impact your health?
Do you have a hard time trusting people? Do you believe they are out to get you? Are all people just working for themselves? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you might be living a life of cynical distrust and indirectly hurting your health.
A research study by Anna-Maija Tolppanen from University of Eastern Finland in Kuopio found that people with a cynical outlook are more likely to develop diseases like dementia, heart defects and high cholesterol.
"These results add to the evidence that people's view on life and personality may have an impact on their health," said Tolppanen.
For her research, Tolppanen tested 1,449 people who were on average 71-years-old. They were given a questionnaire to measure their level distrust in other people. They were grouped into low, moderate and high levels of distrust based on the scores of their exam.
"Understanding how a personality trait like cynicism affects risk for dementia might provide us with important insights on how to reduce risks for dementia,” said Tolppanen.
The study took over eight years to complete and during that time 46 subjects developed dementia. Researchers adjusted the study to determine if other factors like high blood pressure and smoking contributed to the development of mental illness.
They found that of the 164 people who were grouped into the category of high cynicism, 14 developed dementia. In comparison, the group of 212 people who represented the category of low cynicism, only nine people developed dementia.
The study also identified if people with higher levels of cynicism were more likely to die before people who tested into low levels. Researchers found no link between the level of cynicism and lifespan.
Overall this study proves that a positive attitude can help ward off disease and impact the quality of daily life. By learning to trust and becoming less hostile, the brain as well as the body will create a happier environment for itself and the world it perceives.