Being miserable is the key to a longer life, says one of the most extensive studies of its type ever undertaken.
Psychologists found that the most cheerful individuals, with the best sense of humour, die earlier on average than their counterparts with the set jaw and furrowed brow.
And there’s more bad news. Adults who work harder and retire later are also more likely to make it into old age, particularly if they are ‘committed’ to their jobs.
‘Participants [in the study] who were the most cheerful and had the best sense of humour as kids lived shorter lives, on average, than those who were less cheerful and joking,’ said Dr Leslie Martin, of La Sierra University in Riverside, California.
The researchers discovered that the happy souls went on to take more gambles with their health over the years. They were more likely to drink, smoke and eat badly.
[Dr Howard Friedman] added: ‘We found that as a general life-orientation, too much of a sense that “everything will be just fine” can be dangerous because it can lead one to be careless about things that are important to health and long life.’