Keys to better living

Researchers link life skills to greater overall well-being

People who are emotionally stable, determined, in control, optimistic and conscientious may be more likely to live long, happy lives, according to a new study of more than 8,000 people ages 52 and older living in the United Kingdom. The researchers found that those five “life skills” were linked to better health, fewer chronic diseases, less depression, less social isolation and greater financial stability. The study’s authors noted that the analysis does not demonstrate a cause-and-effect relationship. Co-leader Andrew Steptoe of University College London said in a press release: “No single attribute was more important than others. Rather, the effects depended on the accumulation of 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.”