Wednesday, June 14, 2017

NBC’s New Show “Forever Young” Continues Trend Celebrating Older Population

NBC’s upcoming television show “Forever Young” (premiering June 21), is another example of the new trend that celebrates our older population. It comes on the heels of the HBO documentary, “If You’re Not in the Obit…Eat Breakfast.”

Forever Young is hosted by Steve Harvey and highlights the talents of those in their 60s and beyond. “If we’re fortunate enough, we’ll live long lives. Programs like Forever Young provide living proof that our later years can be some of our best years. How do we get there? A lot depends on our attitude.

I've highlighted over 100 thriving individuals in their 80s, 90s and beyond on the “Meet The Amazings” Facebook page in the past year alone. Some are famous, most are not.

Every person featured on Meet The Amazings has an appreciation for life. They have a zest for living; they still have a lot they want to do. They are happy, optimistic and grateful for each day. I expect that to be true of those on Forever Young too. Now compare their outlook with people who are sitting around waiting for life’s clock to expire. It’s a stark contrast.

An appreciative life often means a longer life. In a 2011 study, researchers at University College, London, gauged the happiness levels of people ages 52 to 79 by monitoring their feelings several times over a day. Then, five years later, the researchers examined how many of those people had died. The result? Older people who are happy have a 35 percent lower risk of dying over a five-year period than unhappy people. Even after the researchers controlled for medical conditions including cancer and diabetes, and health risks such as smoking, being happy was still linked with living longer.

Of course, good health and financial security play a role. But study after study shows that those who see life through an appreciative lens, regardless of health or financial issues, still live a longer, happier life than those who don’t.

Everyone, no matter their age, adopt the appreciation approach. You can start to enjoy the mental and physical health benefits right away. Don’t wait until you hit 70. Find something you love, something that will make you happy and fulfilled and then go for it. And always take time to appreciate life’s ordinary pleasures, from the taste of your morning brew to the sweetness of a child’s smile.

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