When it comes to aging, have confidence in your future. If you have a negative attitude about aging, odds are your attitude will have a profound impact on your later years, even on how long you’ll live.
A 2014 University College London (UCL) study interviewed over 9,000 people with an average age of 65. Those who had an overall sense of well-being--defined as having control, doing something worthwhile and having a purpose in life - were 30 percent less likely do die over the following a 8 years than their least wellbeing counterparts. UCL Professor Andrew Steptoe, who led the study noted, “The findings raise the intriguing possibility that increasing well-being could help to improve physical health. There are several biological mechanisms that may link well-being to improved health, for example through hormonal changes or reduced blood pressure.”
What do you value about getting older? If you say "Nothing!" you’re in trouble. If what you see before you as you advance through your 70s, 80s, 90s and beyond is deterioration, ill-health and decrepitude, well then, you’re in for a very unhappy time, and probably won’t live that long.
Another UCL study, this time in 2015, found even further proof: after suffering a heart attack or angina, the most pessimistic patients were twice as likely to suffer from additional serious health conditions over the next four years than were optimistic patients.
If all you see before you is a depressing future, it’s not too late to change that perception. Take on an appreciative and optimistic attitude. Seek out what makes you happy and fulfilled. If you do, you’ll find plenty of reasons to live a long and purposeful life. Be appreciative every day for who you are. Train yourself to talk differently, positively, to yourself. You’ll be amazed at just how quickly your mind responds, and how your experience of your life shifts into a much happier place, the precursor to gratifying long-life.
This shifting perception is critical. From birth, we are changing every second of every day. What society calls aging, is nothing more than another change in our life’s journey. Whatever your chronological age, maintain and practice appreciation. As is true of any good habit and practice, the more diligently and sincerely you embrace appreciation, the more you will enjoy its physical and psychological benefits.