Numerous studies have shown that a positive outlook on aging translates not only to happier retirement years and overall better mental health, but longevity as well. In fact, those who have a positive attitude when it comes to aging live an average of 7.5 years longer than people who are anxious or depressed about aging.
These tips will help you develop a positive, optimistic approach to aging:
When you are in good physical condition, you are more likely to be positive about aging than people who are overweight, smoke, or engage in habits that are harmful to health. The best ways to enter your Golden Years healthily are to exercise regularly, maintain a healthy weight, eat a balanced diet, and visit your doctor regularly for check-ups and screenings.
Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.
Heavy smoking decreases your overall life expectancy by making you more prone to lung and mouth cancers and breathing problems like asthma and COPD. If you smoke, stop right now. Studies show that heavy smokers who quit smoking by age 45 are not impacted by their former smoking habits in their 70’s or 80’s. The same holds true for excessive alcohol consumption, which can not only lead to health problems, but overdependence can result in relationship problems and depression.
Maintain a support system.
A close support system can also result in positive aging. People who are in happy marriages in which both spouses are physically and mentally healthy and feel secure and loved in their relationship tend to have a more positive aging approach. They view getting old together as something to look forward to rather than dread. Additionally, a strong support system of family or friends is also important for developing a healthy and optimistic outlook on aging.
Develop outside hobbies.
Oftentimes, people neglect their own personal hobbies as they age, leaving them feeling bored and unfulfilled by the time they reach retirement age. Develop and maintain outside hobbies and interests you can continue as you age. This will help ensure you keep your mind and your body active. Hobbies to pursue can include gardening, daily walks with friends, travel, games or puzzles, and joining a senior center for activities and friendships.
Make a plan.
As you grow older and prepare for retirement, make sure you have your home and finances in order. It’s difficult to be excited and positive about aging and starting a new chapter in your life when you are worried you don’t have enough money to sustain you in your retirement. Work to pay down debt and increase your savings to ensure financial security.
Rework your attitude.
Resilience to setbacks and maintaining an optimistic outlook on life in general—not just aging—will allow you to approach aging in a positive way. If you are pessimistic about getting older, take steps to be happier and more optimistic about life. If you feel depressed or are anxious about getting older, consider seeing a Calgary psychology expert to help you work through your issues.
When it comes to aging, a positive outlook and improved mental attitude towards growing older will not only make you happier and more content, but it will also help you live longer. This how-to guide can help you become more positive as you approach your Golden Years.
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