Aging: Positive Perspectives


Denver, Colo. – (Ivanhoe Newswire) — While the connection between physical health and longevity is well-established, researchers are now finding even our attitude towards aging can add, or subtract, years to our life. But how do we keep a positive perspective when we’re bombarded with images of old wicked witches and grumpy old men? We are in a new age of how we think about aging, and it may just help us all live longer, healthier lives.

The negative images of aging are being replaced with the 60 plus crowd making the most out of life.

Brenda Mosby says “Someone said this to me a long time ago, that age is a number. It’s a number. And we mentally put these caveats on top of it. And it’s like, that doesn’t make sense.”

Brenda will not let a number define her.

“I am surprised to say at 68 I am on no medications. I just feel so good. And I felt happy all the time.” States Brenda.

In just the past few years, Brenda married, started studying ballet and has taken center stage in a play—all of that and Brenda is blind!

Brenda says “I lost my sight, and I found my vision. My life after blindness has been a fairytale.”

Research out of Yale University finds people with an upbeat, optimistic view of getting older lived an average of seven and a half years longer than their negative peers.

Aditi Gurkar, PhD, Cell Biologist & Aging Expert at University of Pittsburgh explains, “There’s been tons of studies that have shown that being optimistic in life somehow it’s this, you know, your mind playing tricks on your body in some sort, where you just have a healthier perspective in life.”

Ways to help lift your aging attitude toward aging — find positive role models. Don’t blame your age. If you lose your car keys, it happens to everyone. Stop turning down fun opportunities and never say you’re too old. Make sure you mix with millennials. And find your purpose. A study out of Boston University found that having a purpose lowered the risk of death for men by 20 percent, and 34 percent in women.

For Brenda, she has found her groove.

Brenda says, “My purpose is to be an example of love and joy and happiness in everything in everything I do.”

You’ve heard the good, and now for the bad. Research at Berkley found a negative attitude about growing older could increase your risk of dementia, heart disease and even menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and insomnia. One theory is that poor mental health can lead to unhealthy coping mechanisms such as substance abuse, poor diet and lack of exercise.

Contributors to this news report include: Marsha Lewis, Producer; Roque Correa, Editor.



REPORT #3084

BACKGROUND: The Global Wellness Institute defines wellness as the active pursuit of activities, choices, and lifestyles that lead to a state of holistic health. Wellness is not a passive or static state but rather an “active pursuit” that is associated with intentions, choices, and actions as we work toward an optimal state of health and wellbeing. Wellness extends beyond physical health and incorporates many different dimensions that should work together. It is often confused with terms such as health, wellbeing, and happiness. While there are common elements among the three terms, wellness is distinguished by being an active process of being aware and making choices that lead toward an outcome of optimal holistic health and wellbeing.


POSITIVE THINKING AND STRESS: Positive thinking helps with stress management and can even improve health. Studies show that personality traits such as optimism and pessimism can affect numerous areas of a person’s health and well-being. Positive thinking means that you approach unpleasantness in a more positive and productive way. This starts with self-talk which is the endless stream of unspoken thoughts that run through your head. These automatic thoughts can be positive or negative. Some of your self-talk comes from logic and reason. The health benefits that positive thinking may provide include increased life span; lower rates of depression; lower levels of distress and pain; greater resistance to illnesses; better psychological and physical well-being; better cardiovascular health; reduced risk of death from cancer; reduced risk of death from respiratory conditions; reduced risk of death from infections; and better coping skills during hardships and times of stress.


NEW STUDIES ON POSITIVE ATTITUDE AND THE BODY: Researchers from Northwestern University have discovered that individuals who have positive attitudes are less likely to experience memory decline as they get older. The team monitored adults at certain time periods over a decade, each time surveying their mood in the previous 30 days and their memory recall. They concluded that having positive attitude was associated with a less steep decline in memory. However, it’s not just the brain that benefits from positive thinking but also the heart and cardiovascular health. Another study, out of the University of Illinois, found that adults who were more optimistic were more likely to have better cardiovascular health and improved cholesterol and blood sugar levels. The thinking behind this is based on the acute stress response that we experience when we have negative, fearful, or pessimistic emotions. Science is beginning to add weight to the importance and impact of positive thinking on many of our different physiological systems, which all combine to add benefit to our health, resulting in positive thinking being studied in relation to increasing our lifespan.


* For More Information, Contact:          Brenda Mosby

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