Wednesday, May 2, 2012
It may sound morbid, but thinking about death could be a good thing.
That's the finding in a new analysis from the University of Missouri by doctoral student and lead author Ken Vail and psychological sciences Professor Jamie Arndt. It found that, in the right context, thoughts of death can make people more helpful and make healthy changes, like exercising or quitting cigarettes.
Arndt said that people also deal with their awareness of mortality by trying to belong to something larger than themselves, like cultures or religions.
Vail said the findings don't mean you need to sit around and ponder your death. There are enough references to death all around, like news of capital punishment or debates about federal health care.