Having just written a post defending the Power of Negative Thinking, I was quite (perversely) happy to come across this recent study suggesting that anxious older women actually live longer than mellow ones.
Nervous Nellies of the world, rejoice!
If you're an older woman and have a somewhat anxious disposition, maybe now you can go ahead and ignore those youngsters when they say: "Chill, granny. Don't worry, be happy!" Go ahead and panic over every new little ache and pain and scurry off to the doctor if you want. ("Ouch, my foot hurts--maybe it's toenail cancer!") Apparently all that worry-wartishness actually has a protective effect.
However, for guys it was different. Anxious older fellas tended to croak earlier than non-anxious ones. Sorry, guys.
The finding about the older women seemed kind of unlikely, but it was actually based on a 15 year study of 1,000 seniors and didn't look to be obviously half-assed. Still, I won't be surprised if another one contradicts it next week.
As a middle aged person with Worrywartish Tendencies, I'm hoping it's good news for me even if I don't entirely trust it. But at least it's an nice break from that constant tiresome message that carefree types are always better off and so all us cautious folks should forever strive to lighten up.
Heh heh heh heh heh.
Note: I don't mean to minimize the completely debilitating kind of clinical anxiety that makes leading a normal life difficult. If you've got that kind, you should think about getting help. I'm talking more about the "Quirky Character in a Woody Allen Movie" kind of anxiety.
So what do you guys think, does this study make any sense at all? Or does it sound like the kind soon to be followed by "whoops, we took a new look at the data we were totally f*cking wrong the first time?"
And do any of you have Worrywartish tendencies or is it just me?