Scientists say people who maintain a positive outlook, boost feelings of optimism and life satisfaction have a greater chance of living longer.
Once people reach a certain age, their "will to live" is a strong predictor for survival irrespective of their age, gender or whether they suffer from two or more chronic, life-affecting illnesses.
Scientists from Helsinki University looked at 400 people aged between 75 and 90 who lived independently in the city.
They wanted to assess the people's will to live which - although it is highly subjective - can be defined as a psychological expression of the striving for life.
"Put simply, our study showed that those who wanted to live longer also survived longer," the Daily Express quoted Researcher Helena Karppinen as saying.
The study is published in the journal Age and Ageing, the scientific journal of the British Geriatrics Society.