Healthy Aging Begins with Positive ThinkingBy Jill Poser August 02, 2012 | 02:00 PMPosted in: Senior Safety, Family
My Grandma was one of my most favorite people on the
planet! She was my own personal
cheerleader, my confidant, my friend. We
could talk for hours about everything and nothing and it was all just magical. As she grew older I was so curious what that
felt like for her. She was always very
glamorous and kept herself beautifully.
So when she celebrated her 80th birthday I decided I really wanted to
know. I quietly asked her, “Grandma, how
does it feel to be getting older?” She
looked at me and became very quiet. She
sat down on the bed next to me and held my hand in hers and said, “In my mind,
I am 16 meeting your Grandpa for the very first time. But my body doesn’t want to cooperate!” We
both fell back on the bed laughing and laughing.
There is power in positive thinking! Have you ever noticed that some loved ones
continue to feel good and stay active well into their senior years and others
appear to age rapidly and experience increased health problems? Positive
thinking may play a significant role. Research published in Psychology and
Aging, a journal from the American Psychological Association (APA),
shows that while family
genetics and overall physical health play a part in how people age, positive
thinking can also play an important role in healthy aging. Certain hormones are activated in our bodies
whenever we experience stress. With occasional stress comes occasional hormone
production; no big deal. But if we are constantly stressed then our bodies are
constantly producing these hormones and serious damage can be done while we age.
A key to avoiding stress and the negative thoughts associated
with it is to remember that it does not define us; we all have emotional
lapses. For most of us, the transition to a positive attitude consists of a
bunch of small steps. What are some of the steps we can all take to maintain a
Step one; get the proper amount of sleep. It impacts our attitude towards life and is
critical to maintaining and improving our energy
levels. Proper sleep helps maintain the body’s immune system and improves the
emotional and mental clarity we need in order to focus and maintain a positive
Step two; develop a healthy attitude. There are so many ways we
may go about developing a positive attitude. Let’s keep in mind that it is the
simple things in life that provide us with the most pleasure and stimulation.
If you feel like you are dealing with an overwhelming amount of stress, do easy
things that you enjoy. Relax. Read a book, connect with an old friend or go to
a movie. If you are concerned about your health or the health
of your loved ones, an emergency
alert system can help you have peace
of mind. Only when we treat ourselves well, only when we create free time can
we hope to maintain a positive attitude.
Step three; help others. This can be as simple as smiling at someone
you pass on the street, or giving someone a compliment. Maybe you want to volunteer and become part
of an organization. Helping others enriches our own lives, and improves our
general attitude. We must pay attention to the people around us.
Step four; always come from a
place of self-love. We are only human and we must learn to accept our own
shortcomings. So often our inner critic
is part of our daily unhappiness and has been our entire lives. It makes us
critical of ourselves and the people around us.
It may not be easy, but we cannot allow our inner critic to overwhelm
our thoughts. We may need the most help
with this step; effectively turning a negative into a positive.
Remember, with a positive attitude, odds are we will
be happier and healthier and for certain it is always best to be safe, not
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