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By Nina Elias for

PreventionWhen the funny men of Monty Python first sang, “always look on the bright side of life…” they didn’t know they were touting serious health advice. According to a new study in Health Psychology, optimism can have a seriously healthy affect on your body’s stress level.

Researchers set out to see how a sunny attitude affects stress by looking at a particularly stressed-out demographic—older adults. “A lot of people think older adulthood is retirement, rest, and relaxation,” explains researcher Joelle Jobin, a PhD candidate at Concordia University. “But it’s also a time that’s marked by many age-related challenges, such as cognitive changes, an increase in chronic illness, and the loss of loved ones—all associated with an increase in cortisol and stress.” So for 6 years, Jobin and her team analyzed the stress perceptions and cortisol secretion in 135 adults over 60.

Keep reading for the study’s results…

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