Positive attitude 
tips for successful aging


Elderly Hispanic woman showing thumbs up

We can't stop time, but there is evidence that a positive attitude can delay the signs of aging. In a study conducted by psychologist Becca Levy, PhD at Yale University in the late 1990's she found that people with positive views on aging lived an average of 7.6 years longer than those with negative views.

It is common knowledge today that bad eating habits and lack of exercise contribute substantially to poor health. But it is much less accepted that a poor attitude can affect the quality of life or even shorten life expectancy.

If you don't like something change it; if you can't change it, change the way you think about it. ~Mary Engelbreit

What is a positive attitude?

It's a conscious choice to react in a positive way to life's challenges.

Everyone experiences negative events, how we choose to react to them differs from person to person and from event to event. A person struck with bad pains in their knee after exercising may react by saying, "Every time I try to do something good for my body something happens to me."

Another will react to the same situation by saying, "I'll have to find a different type of exercise, one that doesn't put as much pressure on my knee." Both persons experience the same event, but one uses the experience to motivate him/herself and the other gives up. Successful aging depends on a positive attitude. Maintaining a sense of humor, being determined, and learning to live with certain changes are all part of making a positive choice to stay healthy, fit and active.

Can positive thoughts be learned?

Developing a positive attitude is possible, but, like anything worthwhile, it takes time and commitment. Below are some great tips to help you on your way:

  • Be aware of automatic negative thoughts about yourself. When you have one (for example, "I always say stupid things"), ask yourself, how accurate is this thought? Write it down. If it's an issue you can overcome, work on it. If not, decide to accept it.

  • When a negative thought comes to you, replace it with a positive thought.

  • Make a list of positive affirmations (for example: I love myself, I feel good about myself, I am positive, I see something positive in all situations ) and repeat them out loud, to yourself in the mirror every day. For more positive affirmations go to Vital Affirmations

  • Understand that attitude is a choice.

  • Seek out positive people.

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