Are you the type of person who is never on time? Well, here are some good news for you. People Always Running Late Are Happier And Healthier according to a recent Harvard study.
People Always Running Late Are Happier And Healthier
Are you thinking about yourself right now? Are you always running late for almost EVERYTHING? Does it seem like no matter how early you leave or how great your intentions are, you never quite make it to your destination on time? Well, it’s time to cut yourself a break (pun intended!).
If, on the other hand, you’re always on time and thought of someone else above, well, cut them a break, too. Turns out they’re quite possibly healthier and happier than you!
This is crazy but according to a study from Harvard University, people who usually run late also tend to be happier and live longer. What happens is people who are always late tend to be very optimistic, and that actually is good when it comes to their health.
Being late is strongly associated to optimism and higher levels of enthusiasm
Have you ever noticed how people who are always running late seem to be more positive and upbeat? You may be seething that your best friend shows up 20 minutes past your lunch reservation, but she arrives smiling like it’s no big deal. Before you fly off the deep end and berate her for her “inconsideration,” take a look at her overall personality. I bet you find that she’s more passionate, more enthusiastic, and an overall happier person.
“Many late people tend to be both optimistic and unrealistic and this affects their perception of time,” says Diana DeLonzor in her book, Never Be Late Again. “They really believe they can go for a run, pick up their clothes at the dry cleaners, buy groceries and drop off the kids at school in an hour.”
“They remember that single shining day 10 years ago when they really did all those things in 60 minutes flat, and forget all the other times that everything took much, much longer.”
Optimistic people have one thing in common: They’re always late
As Justin Kruger, a New York University School of Business psychologist, explained to the Wall Street Journal, society has all sorts of punishments in place for those who are late, yet people still fail to arrive on time despite these demerits. Why? Like DeLonzer said, it has little to do with not caring about the punishments and more to do with underestimating the amount of time it will take to accomplish all of their tasks.
Alfie Kohn of Psychology Today suggests turning the question around to discover the answer of why people run late (and why they don’t seem to be upset when they do). Rather than ask “why is my friend always late” try asking “why am I always on time?” The answer: you have a more down-to-earth recognition of how long it will take for you to get somewhere, or how long it takes to do all of your chores. Your friend, on the other hand, may be more of a dreamer. She believes she can realistically run to the pharmacy to pick up her prescriptions, drop off her laundry at the dry cleaner, and make it clear across town all within an hour.
Basically, she’s a positive thinker. That doesn’t mean you’re a pessimist, it just means that she’s more willing to believe that everything will work out in the end…even if it’s really only happened that one time.
People always running late are healthier
What this means is people who are running late are often operating with a sense of calm. And according to a paper from Harvard Medical School, that’s quite possibly adding years to their lives. In fact, even holding for other predictors of health, research has found that “an optimistic outlook early in life can predict better health and a lower rate of death during follow-up periods of 15 to 40 years.”
Being optimistic means you are a happier person overall. You are always focusing on the positive side of things, and that translates into a more productive, creative, and relaxed life. And according to the Harvard researchers (and backed up by University of Rochester Medical Center researchers) , this attitude could be adding some years to your life too.
The study also mentions that if you are an optimistic person, you will have less chances of high blood pressure and heart disease. “Optimism appears to protect the heart and circulation — and it’s heartening to learn that it can have similar benefits for overall health.”
None of this means that it’s socially acceptable to be late for everything. Whenever possible, you should really try to be on time, if not to avoid punishment then to protect the sanity of those waiting on you. I wish I could be on time sometimes for certain things. But it is nice to know that if you are late, it doesn’t mean you are a failure. On the contrary, running late every now and then may just mean you are a happier and healthier person.