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Optimists Walk Faster: Pessimists Die Younger

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA


Shirley Temple was onto something in the movie, Little Miss Broadway when she sang: “Be Optimistic, Don’t you Be a Mourner, Brighten Up That Corner and Smile; Smile and Be Happy!”  Ok, the part about just smiling is a little trite and too simplistic. However, studies do support the notion that optimism confers better levels of health and happiness.

Be Optimistic, Little Miss Broadway

If you want to live longer, happier, healthier, and maybe even wealthier, then take a look at the following Fun Fit Facts drawn from our reading of studies and surveys.  Pin them while you’re at it. Age actively knowing the benefits optimism brings.

If you want to know HOW to be more of an optimist, then click this link to see 8 ways to increase your happiness and optimistic outlook. Eeyores can become more like Tiggers with practice. (And with movement, imagine that!?)

optimists exercise

Optimists are also less likely to smoke, more likely to live with a spouse, and more likely to follow medical advice than pessimists.  (Question to self: what if my hubster is smokin’ cute and takes my advice? Will he live forever or will I? Things to ponder).

Feeling unhappy? You might be too young. Wait a few years, because people in their 60s report higher levels of happiness than those in their 30s and 40s. Surprised? I was.

happy with age



Optimistic walkers

Turns out that pessimists are correct: life is harder for them. Those with a low sense of well-being (associated with pessimism) are more than three times as likely to experience problems in performing daily activities. Pessimists over 50 also tend to die younger than others their same age who enjoy life more.

Up the scale

If you tend more to the pessimistic side of life, don’t get down on yourself. Blame your parents! Have them blame their parents. Yes, genes predispose some people to optimism. Some of us are simply born sunnier side up.  Even if you were born with hard boiled tendencies, you can move to the optimistic camp. If you need a boost of optimism and happiness, maybe buy a plane ticket. (And read our post on ways to shift to the O perspective).  Apparently travel holds the top spot for enhancing happiness among women up to age 59 and second place for those in their 60s. Guess what women over 60 rated as the number one method for feeling happier? Spending time with friends.

That sounds good to me! In fact, traveling with friends sounds really enticing. I am off to sing the rest of the Shirley Temple song:  Be Optimistic: Don’t You Be a Grumpy; When the Road Gets Bumpy, Just Smile, Smile and Be Happy!”

We are optimistic that you will find value and nirvana when you:

1) Follow us on Google +Alexandra and +Kymberly, on Twitter: AlexandraFunFit and KymberlyFunFit and Instagram: AlexandraFunFit and KymberlyFunFit.

2) Pick up the phone or email us to book us to speak at your next meeting or conference. Call (805) 403-4338 or email

Photos Credits: taken by me, Kymberly.



About Fun and Fit

Get practical exercise advice, your fitness questions answered, and cutting edge health edu-tainment that is accessible and doable from long time fitness experts, Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA. We have taught on land, sea, and airwaves for 3 decades on 4 continents. From writing to speaking, emceeing to hosting a radio show, reviewing products to teaching classes, we believe that little steps turn into big paths. Move a little more than the day before. FitFluential Ambassadors and award-winners both online and off.

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10 Responses to Optimists Walk Faster: Pessimists Die Younger

  1. Jenn @comebackmomma August 11, 2014 at 6:04 am #

    I have been far too pessimistic only when it comes to exercise these days. I don’t know why. This is a good inspiration to get moving again.

  2. Jody - Fit at 56 August 11, 2014 at 11:43 am #

    I always kinda though of myself as a pessimist more than optimist but I fit more in the optimist side. :) If I had money – I would travel! :) AND yes, friends are always good!
    Jody – Fit at 56 recently posted..Things I am Happy About!My Profile

  3. Sheryl August 11, 2014 at 1:41 pm #

    Given a choice, it’s much more fun to be an optimist!

  4. Pamela Hernandez August 12, 2014 at 11:15 am #

    It’s all a choice. I’m pretty happy and optimistic at 39 so bring on my 40s!
    Pamela Hernandez recently posted..Healthy Life Lessons from a Type 1 DiabeticMy Profile

  5. KymberlyFunFit August 12, 2014 at 2:10 pm #

    Well gollll dang, no wonder you are an optimist – you are young and look even younger!
    KymberlyFunFit recently posted..5 Things Wine and Exercise Have in CommonMy Profile

  6. Josh August 26, 2014 at 11:03 am #

    I’ve been feeling more pessimistic recently, and I have been thinking it’s more about the lack of sleep, not eating well, and stress. I have recently started getting more active, and even try and get out for daily walks. I may fit into the under 40 category in that chart, but I don’t feel nearly as good if I don’t get some exercise in.
    Josh recently posted..2015 Best Pedometer BraceletMy Profile

  7. linda honsberger October 3, 2014 at 11:58 am #

    right on. it”s true. i am happier in my sixties.

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