Did you know that there is a connection between your mind and your health, especially when it comes to positive aging? Having a positive attitude toward aging can lead to a healthier, long-lasting life, better cognitive function, and better sleep. Positive aging requires cultivating a positive and optimistic mindset to promote great physical, mental, and social well-being.
What exactly is positive aging?
Positive aging refers to a holistic approach to aging that emphasizes maintaining physical, emotional, and social well-being, staying active and having a positive outlook on life. It is a shift away from traditional views of aging as a time of decline and towards aging as a time of growth and fulfillment.
Here are a few ways to achieve positive aging.
If you find yourself getting down in the dumps or uncertain about your future, practice mindfulness. List a few things that you are grateful for. Rather than focusing on what is going wrong in your life, hone in on things going right. You woke up this morning. You had coffee with your favorite friend. The sun was shining. It doesn’t have to be major life-altering things. The more you practice the better the habit will become. You will create neural pathways in your brain that will help you become more optimistic as a habit.
Activate Your Brain
Did you know your brain can atrophy in isolation? Just like your muscles when you don’t use them, your brain can literally waste away. If you aren’t connected with friends or family check out your community connections. Volunteering is a great way to get out and make new friends. Don’t push away people who care for you and want to spend time with you. Keep in touch with your family and people who care about you. Even if you feel they have abandoned you because they got too busy, maintain contact with your family.
Exercise your Brain
Read a book, do a crossword, anything that will challenge you brain. Learning a new skill is a great way to exercise your brain. There are endless possibilities and you are never too old to start learning something new.
Keep healthy Habits
What you eat is important. Be mindful of what you are putting into your body. There are foods that will feed your fat and there are foods that will feed your brain. Your brain health is a direct path to your mental health and your overall health. Include fresh foods in your diet to help yourself stay happier. Ask your doctor or dietician for advice on what foods you can have and what to avoid.
Don’t Shy Away From Help
Seek help from your doctors and other health professionals as needed. Keep up with your appointments and check ups. Ask for help from a mental health professional whenever you feel you are unable to cope with a situation with peace of mind. Ask a friend to be your accountability partner if you tend to forget your appointments.
Aging is inevitable. Aging well is a process. Positive aging is facing it head on with a plan. These were some examples of items to implement but it is not an exhaustive list. Whatever you do, do it with joy and the understanding that you are helping your future self.