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Five life skills to boost well-being
May 2, 2017, 5:44 pm

Emotional stability, determination, control, optimism and conscientiousness are five skills that can help raise your prospects for a happy healthy life, says a new study by researchers at University College London.

In a study of more than 8,000 people, aged 52 and older, researchers found a strong link between those five life skills and significantly better health, fewer chronic diseases, less depression, less social isolation and greater financial stability.

While no single attribute was found to be more important than others, a combination of these five skills was seen to produce the best results. The study found that nearly one-quarter of people with the fewest of those five skills reported depressive symptoms, while just three percent of people with four or five of the life skills had symptoms of depression.

Almost half of those with the fewest skills said they had high levels of loneliness. Meanwhile, just 11 percent of those with four or five of the life skills said they had high levels of loneliness, the findings showed.

Slightly more than one-third of those with the least life skills said they had poor to fair health, compared with just six percent of people with four or five of the skills, according to the report.

The researchers were surprised by the range of processes — economic, social, psychological, biological, and health and disability related — that seem to be related to these life skills. Our research suggests that fostering and maintaining these skills in adult life may be relevant to health and well-being at older ages," the researchers concluded in their study.

However, they cautioned that their study was not designed to prove a cause-and-effect relationship.

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