There Is a Connection Between Optimism and Successful Aging

May 19th, 2016 by John Wilson

You’ve probably heard the saying, “Attitude is everything!” Research indicates the adage is especially true the older we get. In fact, a positive attitude may actually add years to our lives. One study conducted by researchers at the Mayo Clinic followed a group of people for three decades. At the beginning of the study, each subject was given a personality test and then labeled as “optimistic” or “pessimistic.” The pessimistic individuals were 20 percent more likely to die prematurely. Many scientists seem convinced there is an undeniable connection between optimism and successful aging.

Optimistic People May Live Longer Lives But Will Definitely Live Happier Lives

If you were to be a fly on the wall at any of the senior living communities serving Oklahoma City and the surrounding areas, you would undoubtedly notice groups of seniors conversing, laughing, talking on the phone, entertaining visitors and exercising. You would also probably notice some individuals who appear somber, sullen and uninterested in joining in with their happier peers. It doesn’t take a scientist to see the latter group, the pessimists, aren’t enjoying life nearly as much as their optimistic neighbors. It is normal, at any age, to feel blue. One of the most important things to look for when evaluating senior living in Oklahoma City is how much of an effort the staff and fellow residents make to help pessimistic residents look on the bright side and try to move past their cynicism.

Stay happier when in assisted living.

Senior living can help seniors stay happier.

Yes, You Can Train Your Brain to Embrace Positivity

Practicing meditation and yoga and embracing spirituality can reset your brain and help program it to be positive. While fresh air and physical activity have been shown to boost mood, studies show even people with extremely limited mobility can embrace a positive lifestyle. Simply agreeing to take medication to combat depression and anxiety can boost mood and foster an optimistic attitude. Resiliency, tenacity and learning healthy coping skills set seniors and people of any age up for mental success. As the saying goes, “Change your mind, change your life.”

Fighting the Blues Helps You Fight Mental Decline

The key to optimism and a feeling of well-being is to identify things you love to do or engage you and make you feel alive. These things vary from person to person. You may find reading a book, participating in a group activity, petting a dog, taking a walk in the garden or visiting with your grandchildren energizes you. When you’re energized, negativity evaporates. To fight the blues, be either physically or mentally active. Not only will you feel better and more enthusiastic about life, you’ll be lowering your risk of illnesses, such as Alzheimer’s disease.

If you are looking for a quality assisted living facility in the Oklahoma City area, we encourage you to contact us at the Village at Oakwood. Our caring staff is committed to keeping our residents safe, secure and engaged so they can feel optimistic about the future. We are not just a care facility, we are an extended family!

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