Thursday, June 21, 2018

New Study: Positive Attitude About Aging Linked to Reduced Dementia Risk


 
Could attitude about aging play a role in whether someone falls victim to dementia? A new 2018 Health & Retirement Study published in the journal PLOS One, draws a link between positive aging beliefs and better cognitive performance even by participants who carried the gene APOE 4, which increases the chances of developing dementia.

The study shows, that no matter what our physical body tells us as we age (aches and pains, saggy skin, wrinkles), it's our brain and attitude that still holds significant power. According to the research, hose with negative beliefs about aging were twice as likely to develop dementia than those with positive beliefs (2.60 percent versus 4.61 percent) regardless of whether they had the APOE 4 gene.

How we view aging—whether positive or negative—often starts well before reach our older years. The negative social stigmas about aging are still strong, but the walls are slowing coming down. We as a society need to do more, but individually, we can also take steps to improve our age outlook.

Push Negative Thoughts Away. The study confirms what other research has found: what you think and feel has an impact on physical wellbeing. Your brain is constantly sending signals to the rest of your body. When you are experiencing positive thoughts and feelings--in particular, appreciation—studies show that the blood flow in your brain increases so it functions better—resulting in better focus, better memory and more energy.

Find Your Next Passion. You may not be able to play a hard match of singles tennis, but there is still life to live. Dial it back a notch—if you enjoy tennis, play doubles instead—or try something completely new. There are countless invigorating physical and mental activities that you can tackle that will give you fulfillment and happiness.

Stay Connected. Humans are social creatures. Get out and find those who share your interests and who are fun to be around.

Appreciate Life. As we get older, we realize how quickly time passes. Don't waste a minute. Appreciate the little things. Be grateful for what you have. You may not have reached all your goals (or hardly any), but that's okay. Appreciate what you have accomplished and set new goals.

We all will face some sort of physical limitations, financial setbacks and emotional turmoil. That's part of life. It's really up to us to determine how we live our later years--with positive determination or with pessimism.

For a copy of the study, click here.

No comments:

Post a Comment