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Forget Your Negative Past, Move On to Stay Healthy: Study

A new study reveals remembering the past in a negative way may harm a person’s health.

The study by the University of Granada reports that people’s attitude to past events, present experiences or future expectations, influences their perception of health and their quality of life.

«We have observed that when people are negative about past events in their life, they also have a pessimist or fatalistic attitude towards current events,» said Cristi n Oyanadel, UGR researcher and co-author of the study.

This generates greater problems in their relationships and these people present worse quality of life indicators,» he added.

Researchers assessed 50 individuals (25 women and 25 men between 20 and 70 years old) from a randomised sample, using questionnaires and time orientation tests.

The test included five dimensions that describe attitudes towards the past, the present and the future.

Researchers found that people who tend to be negative find it hard to make a physical effort in their day-to-day activities and have physical limitations for work performance; they perceive greater bodily pain and are more likely to become ill.

«According to what we have observed in our study, the most influencing dimension is the perception of the past. A negative view of the past is highly related to worse health indicators,» noted researcher Oyanadel.

«Furthermore, they generally tend to be depressive, anxious and present behavioural changes,» he added.

The study has been published in the journal Universitas Psychologica.