Many elements contribute to helping you live your best life. Maintaining good physical health, working out your brain, eating a nutritious diet, getting a good night’s sleep and managing your stress are just a few.
But did you know that your attitude also plays an influential part?
Positive attitude and aging well
The benefits of having the right outlook are many and extend to:
Helping to manage stress
Improving your immunity system
Decreasing your risk of depression
Lowering your risk of heart disease
Making it less likely to develop a chronic disease
All of these advantages can help you to age well but you may also be able to live longer if you master your attitude. A 2019 study found that being optimistic may lead to an 11 – 15% longer life span. This finding was independent of socioeconomics, health conditions, depression, social integration and behaviors such as smoking, diet and alcohol use.
Other research has discovered the following additional benefits for how your attitude can affect your health:
1. Being optimistic may make you more resilient to illness and encourage you to be proactive about taking care of your health.
2. Your experiences can lead to greater insight, allowing you to create and live a more meaningful life.
3. Research has also linked having a positive attitude with possible delays in cognitive decline.
4. A study from North Carolina State University discovered that having a positive attitude about growing older helped individuals become more resilient when responding to stress.
Can you improve your attitude?
The answer is yes. But like most self-improvement tasks, it takes education and practice.
Being around others and having meaningful relationships can help develop a positive outlook. Your self-perceptions also play a role. People who believed their memory would be negatively affected as they grew older often performed at a lower level than those who didn’t share that belief.
Being exposed to positive images of aging might provide a boost to developing a better attitude. Instead of seeing certain conditions such as depression and anxiety as a natural part of aging, those who viewed them as health conditions that can be treated experienced a more positive outlook on life.
The connection between a positive attitude and aging well
If you wonder if there is a direct connection between how you feel about aging and how well you’ll do it, one study found that those who had more negative attitudes actually walked at a slower speed and experienced decreased cognitive abilities compared to those with a more optimistic view.
You may want to start taking proactive steps to cultivate a more positive attitude. Review these tips as well and see if any may resonate while helping you to adjust your way of thinking:
1. Keep a gratitude journal
Develop a habit of noticing and documenting a positive view on life. This is also a great way to catch any negative thinking.
2. Repeat positive affirmations
Create a few intentional statements about how you see the future and your ability to handle what comes your way. Repeat them throughout the day.
3. Practice meditation
A good way to increase your optimistic outlook is by practicing meditation that supports self-compassion and empathy for others.
4. Spend time with other positive thinkers
We’ve all had the negative friend who can really drain our energy. Be aware of the time you spend with others who are similar and strive to be around those with a more positive attitude.
Lifestyles and aging well
If you want to improve your outlook and your ability to age well, you may also want to consider what has been learned from people who live in the Blue Zones. These are areas around the world where people live extraordinarily longer than anywhere else.
Their lifestyles include the following that may explain what is adding to their years:
1. Moving is a part of everyday life
2. They have found their purpose in life
3. They have learned how to manage their stress
4. They control their weight and stop eating before they’re full
5. They also control their serving sizes and eat less red meat
6. Except for one zone who abstained, residents drank wine daily in moderation
7. Most of them belonged to a faith-based community
8. They prioritize their family and often live multigenerationally in the same home
9. Their social circles help support them to choose healthy behaviors
How you view aging can make a difference
If you have a less than optimistic view about growing older, these upbeat discoveries may help:
Older adults may experience fewer migraine headaches
Older adults are 11% more emotionally stable in their 70s than those aged 25 to 39
Older adults can apply their past knowledge better to other areas – and quicker
Older adults care less what other people think of them
Older adults have more voting power as they’re the fastest growing demographic
Older adults who stay connected have better health and satisfaction with life
Ingleside at King Farm Independent Living
If you have a positive attitude about aging, you will no doubt appreciate all the benefits and support you’ll find at an independent living community. At Ingleside at King Farm Independent Living, you’ll find everything you need to live an enriched lifestyle with our activities, social events and healthy dining programs.
You’ll also discover a private home that offers open and inviting spaces, walk-in closets and well-equipped kitchens. You’ll have the choice of the floorplan that works best for you. You’re also encouraged to personalize your home so it will be a unique expression of your own style.
We believe you’ll love our well-planned community, created to provide all the possibilities you’re looking for:
Staffed fitness center
Indoor heated pool and spa
Cultural Arts Center
Classes, clubs and programs
Meditation space and Yoga studio
Spa/salon with massage room
Spiritual, musical and theatrical programs
Along with scheduled transportation to medical appointments, shopping, concerts and other events, you’ll have easy access to the shuttle system that loops to the Metro as well as walking paths that lead to The King Farm Village Center, just a few blocks away.
Please visit our website or call (240) 414-8557 if you have any questions or would like to schedule a personalized tour today.