Women who have an optimistic outlook on life may live longer than those who do not.
In a study of more than 70,000 women, optimists were found to have a reduced risk of five deadly diseases.
Those with a sunny disposition were less likely to suffer from heart disease, cancer, lung conditions, infection and Type 2 diabetes than others.
While the researchers said there may be some link between optimism and healthy lifestyle choices – such as eating healthily and doing exercise – they said having a positive attitude may improve life chances in itself.
The study, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, analysed data from a survey of more than 70,000 women with an average age of 70.
The women were asked to rate how optimistic they felt, on a scale of 0-24.
The participants were then monitored over the next eight years and researchers recorded any deaths that were related to disease.
Over the course of the study, there were a total of 4,566 deaths.
The most optimistic women were found to have a 30% lower risk of death from the five causes than the least optimistic women.
The most optimistic women were 38% likely to die from heart disease and 39% less likely to die from stroke than women at the other end of the scale.
What’s more, they were also 52% less likely to die from an infection, 38% less likely to die from lung disease and 16% less likely to die from cancer than their pessimistic counterparts.
The researchers suggested optimism may not only improve our mental health, but may have a biological impact on our physical health.
The good news is we’re a nation of optimists.
Contrary to our reputation for moaning, previous research from University College London found that four in five Brits tend to look on the bright side of life.