Happy people are healthy people. No matter what your age. Doesn’t it seem that way? Whether it annoys or delights you that someone around you is happy all the time, they seem to be sick a lot less. Optimism and health just seem to go hand in hand. That’s probably not just your perception. There are scientific studies to back it up.
Here’s a quote from one of the studies:
“Our results further suggest that optimism is specifically related to 11 to 15% longer life span, on average, and to greater odds of achieving “exceptional longevity,” that is, living to the age of 85 or beyond. These relations were independent of socioeconomic status, health conditions, depression, social integration, and health behaviors (e.g., smoking, diet, and alcohol use).”
There are several ways Optimism and health lead to a happier, longer life:
- Stress reduction – a major contributor for many chronic diseases
- Increased will to live which leads to more resiliency to disease
- Taking a more proactive approach to learning about health and living healthy
- More determination to recover from an injury or disability
How You Can Improve Optimism and Health
The sooner you have an optimistic attitude towards aging and life in general, the better. But it’s never too late to start. Here are some ideas on how to improve your outlook or maybe improve the outlook of an elderly person you are taking care of:
- Hang out with positive people – Negative people can easily bring other people down as well. Try to stick with other people with an optimistic attitude. You will keep pushing each other up.
- Think of keeping a gratitude journal – At least find something every day for which you are thankful. Keeping a journal will allow you to go back from time and time and remember other good thoughts.
- Help others – If you feel needed by someone else, you will feel good that you are helping. And people will be thankful for you. It’s a great feeling when you see someone else improve in some area because of what you did. Volunteer opportunities are a great way for seniors to help others.
- Stay positive during setbacks – It’s easy to become negative when life deals you a problem. Think of it as challenge to overcome. When you do overcome it, you will feel even more optimistic about the future.
- Repeat Positive Affirmations – The more you tell yourself something, the more you will believe it down to a subconscious level. So, tell yourself good things. Try to keep them realistic such as “I can handle what comes my way”. Phrases such as “I can fly to the moon” might be dismissed by your subconscious as not realistic.
Aging does not have to be full of doom and gloom. We all only have one shot of life in this world. Making the most of every day can very possibly extend the number of days you receive.