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brazil84 comments on Lifestyle interventions to increase longevity - Less Wrong

122 Post author: RomeoStevens 28 February 2014 06:28AM

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Comment author: brazil84 28 February 2014 06:58:13PM 2 points [-]

By the way, it seems to me that we need to think in more detail about the relationship between happiness and stress. For example, I have pretty high-stress job (I am a litigation attorney) but at the same time it's a lot of fun most of the time and I am reasonably happy with it. How many more years could I expect to live if I were a trust fund baby?

A few studies have been done on the relationship between retirement age and longevity. As I recall, the best studies seem to show little or no relationship once you eliminate consideration of individuals who retire early for health reasons. It occurs to me that stress or lack of stress can cut both ways. If you have a sense of purpose in life it can make you feel happy. But once you have a sense of purpose, things will invariably come up which frustrate your objectives in large and small ways. Which is stressful. On the other hand, if you are completely apathetic you will be free from stress. But you won't have any sense of purpose or meaning.

Comment author: RomeoStevens 28 February 2014 08:25:57PM 5 points [-]

My understanding is that how you respond to stress is a better predictor than total amount of stress.

Comment author: brazil84 28 February 2014 08:41:41PM 5 points [-]

My understanding is that how you respond to stress is a better predictor than total amount of stress.

That raises an interesting question. Just from simple observation, it's clear that a lot of people respond to stress by engaging in unhealthy behaviors like binge eating, excessive alcohol consumption, etc. So if stress is correlated with health problems, perhaps the causation is indirect.

Comment author: RomeoStevens 01 March 2014 01:11:53AM 6 points [-]

We do have some reasons to expect direct causation such as inflammation and immunosupression.