5 Seemingly Harmful Things That Make You Live Longer

#2. Don't Be Too Cheerful

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We've got good news for people who love bad news and bad news for that goofball who's always so cheerful at the office. You know the one -- the person who never shows up in a bad mood and always remembers your birthday with cupcakes and squishy hugs. According to an eight-decade study discussed in The Longevity Project, people who approach life with an overly optimistic, cheerful, happy-go-lucky attitude aren't the longest-living people on the planet. Which suddenly makes every rom-com's manic pixie dream girl a tragic figure. Eat it, Zooey!

So, again, how can this be possible? Aren't grumpy people constantly at risk for high blood pressure and all of those other stress-related illnesses?

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"I'm 113 years old and fueled by pure hate. Fuck you."

Well, the study found that optimistic, extroverted people are way less cautious than grumps. It's the happy types who take more risks and are less aware of adverse consequences. They're the ones who dance in the rain and get struck by lightning. Or, more likely, do all the drugs and OD. Why worry about consequences when you're so sure the sun will come out tomorrow, no matter what? They'll keep believing that right until somebody zips up the body bag.

You know who you want to be like? The obsessive-compulsive, organized nerd. The person who carries an umbrella all summer, because you never know. When the researchers behind The Longevity Project dug into their data, they discovered a pattern:

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Aside from these types, who get shot in the face more than others.

"The findings clearly revealed that the best childhood personality predictor of longevity was conscientiousness -- the qualities of a prudent, persistent, well-organized person, like a scientist-professor -- somewhat obsessive and not at all carefree."

Do you hear that, free spirits? You're going to DIE YOUNG, just like you always wanted.

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Some within a matter of a just a few blocks.

#1. Castration

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It's a classic ethical dilemma for every man: Would you rather die young with your balls intact or live to 100 without them? You probably remember the question from your entry-level college philosophy class. It's a good question, because it turns out that eunuchs might live longer than their nutted contemporaries ... by over 10 freaking years.

Researchers have known for ages that castrated rats engage in safer behaviors, are less aggressive and generally outlive their genitally intact friends. And we also know that human males are often negatively affected by their own testosterone -- man juice can promote heart disease, riskier activities like smoking and picking fights at bars, and pursuing professional wrestling as a career. All this is great information, but it doesn't add up to a hill of balls if it doesn't translate to the real world.

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"It's OK, honey, soon your dad will be aware of all kinds of new things."

Well, it turns out that there are people who might benefit from castration in the same way rats do: eunuchs. And forcibly castrated sex criminals, we guess, but we won't talk about them.

There was a time when certain boys were castrated so they could grow up to be harem guards and palace officials without anyone worrying about them making power plays. In Korea, eunuchs traded their private parts for the particular privilege of getting to marry and adopt children, even as they worked like slaves for the royal dynasty. They also kept amazing records -- which is how we know that the average lifespan of a eunuch serving in the Chosun Dynasty was 70, while the average lifespan of contemporaries was about 53. Royalty died even younger, as if the stress of managing a country was a year-sucker.

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"Let's get started on that will, princess."

On average, those who gave up their man bits ended up living between 14 and 19 years longer than those who didn't, and a few of them even made it past 100. At a time when medicine wasn't a thing and people died from infected hangnails, these guys were kicking life's ass. The same trend was found in a Kansas mental hospital in the early 1900s where some patients were castrated and lived about 13 years longer than their uncastrated counterparts.

So that suddenly makes the "large Amish family" option way more appealing.



For reasons why you might be dying soon, check out 7 Random Things You Won't Believe Are Shortening Your Life. And discover 5 Random Factors That Determine Whether You Succeed in Life.

If you're pressed for time and just looking for a quick fix, then check out 3 Bizarre Ways Animals Have Learned to Speak Like Humans.

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