Most of us have some awareness of the fact that lifestyle choices affect the length of our lifespans, as well as our levels of overall health and independence throughout our later years. We all know that we should eat a healthy diet of nutritious foods, get plenty of exercise, take part in activities that stimulate and challenge us mentally, keep up with doctor’s appointments and health checkups, and participate in social circles. However, experts have said that all these things are only half of the equation. What’s equally important is the way that we feel about our aging.
Studies have shown that optimism can reduce the harmful effects that stress can have on our physical and emotional well-being. Regardless of how much stress you have, or perceive that you have, a better self image of aging is good for your health. Improving your attitude towards the aging process can reduce stress related symptoms, but make sure you’re not dismissing real health concerns by plastering a smile over them.
Even seniors with health problems can be empowered by tackling the challenge of optimism. By looking at the upside of making necessary changes, you can consider the freedom and potential benefits involved. For example, if independence has slipped to the point of necessitating in-home care, you could focus on the many ways having extra help will enhance your independence.
Much of the dread around the aging process doesn’t come from our own experiences, but from the way society conditions us to think about aging. Advertising and media lionizes youth, and research shows that we internalize messages we’re exposed to over time.