(Telegraph) Looking on bright side of death makes you healthier
10:53AM BST 01 May 2012
We really should ‘look on the bright side of death’ – thinking about your own mortality can make you healthier, a study shows.
Awareness of death can also reduce divorce rates, research found.
A new study has shown how contemplating death can result in positive behaviours, decreasing aggressive attitudes and increase peoples’ willingness to unselfishly help others.
Previous work into mortality has suggested thinking about death could make people feel glum, aggressive, or feel other negative behaviours.
However, after catastrophic events, such as the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and the Oklahoma City bombing that killed 168, people’s heightened fear and awareness of death had both positive and negative effects.
Prof Jamie Arndt said: “Both the news media and researchers tended to focus on the negative reaction to these acts of terrorism, such as violence and discrimination against Muslims, but studies also found that people expressed higher degrees of gratitude, hope, kindness and leadership after 9/11.