Happiness Helps Seniors in Aging Gracefully
Sometimes, you meet special people whose company you enjoy. They are people who have a positive outlook, exude happiness, or bring a smile to you face. Want to know where they get their energy from? Seniors age gracefully if they believe they have happiness and well-being, says a new British study. Learn a few secrets that contribute to aging gracefully.
Why Be Happy?
We wish for ourselves and other people to live a long life. The question is what will influence how we enjoy those years? Will we be healthy, wealthy and wise then?
To a certain extent the answer is in our own hands! The reason for this is that how you perceive your life, very much affects how happy you will feel about it.
There is a scientific term called “subjective well-being”. Subjective well-being means that a person is
- frequently affected positively by their moods or surroundings,
- has infrequent negative moods or feelings, and
- evaluates their life as satisfactory.
Such a person will be very happy to hear that subjective well-being is associated with living longer and aging in a more healthy way. This information has recently been released from a study that took place over a span of 10 years.
Let’s see how subjective well-being (or, in simpler terms, being generally happy with your life) can help you age gracefully:
Healthy: People who are happy, live lives that are longer and stay in better health.
Wealthy: As for wealthy, well, if you look at you life with an ‘eye for satisfaction’, you will be wealthy too. Wealth can mean other things apart being wealthy in money. A person can be wealthy in good friends and companions. They can be wealthy in grandchildren. After all those years, they can be wealthy in life-experiences and they can be wealthy in knowledge and skills.
Wise: Wise, you will almost certainly be, as that is one of the good things about being an older adult, you have learned so much about life.
So it seems that it is worth it to be happy.
How Can You Tell Someone “Be Happy”?
It is a lifestyle – your health is actually affected by how healthy you perceive yourself to be. It is worthwhile to enjoy life and have positive feelings about your health and your mood. The research found, people that did so lived longer and there was less incidence of chronic illness. They found this to be true among men and women, for ages between 60, 70, 80 and 90 years.
It can be learned – with sufficient effort a person can learn to appreciate the things they do have and this will engender more positive feelings n their life. A person can also learn how to unravel life’s nasty events and tangles that give stress and focus more on the pleasures in life that we experience. People of all ages can learn stress management techniques. Keeping a gratitude diary can turn your life around. Write in the dairy on a daily basis the things that you are grateful for. Never repeat the same item without adding a different detail.
Your outlook on life – In the wider picture, laughter and happiness help you focus your emotional state. Being happy and laughing are not necessarily the same thing. Laughter is a more external action, often brought about when the unexpected occurs. Happiness is a deep internal feeling of satisfaction. Many times high-quality happiness can be acquired by the simple acts of kindness that a person does for one another. This supports the theory that giving rather than receiving creates feelings of happiness.
People who are happy:
- have less chance of having a heart attack
- healthier blood pressure
- lower cholesterol
- recover from illnesses better and faster
- your entire body benefits, in particular you can have a healthier heart and mind
- better weight management
- more efficient immune system
- generate more energy
- feel pain differently
Seniors Age Gracefully
Happier people tended to age gracefully, with people avoiding debilitating diseases as we have written above. Living longer and not getting stressed out by chronic illness, seems to be a fine way of aging gracefully. This is joined by many tips we can pick up along the way, such as, to make social ties, enjoy periods of productivity and appreciate the pleasure in life. Looking after oneself is included in aging gracefully, probably since if you take the time to meet your physical needs, then your mind will be free to enjoy the gifts of life that we all have.
Genetics can play a part in whether a person is upbeat or chooses to be optimistic. Other research shows that to a certain extent genetics play a part ,as well, in longevity. The research from twin studies suggests that only 20-30% of 85 year old’s, reached that age mainly as a condition of genetic longevity. Other factors brought about the long lives of the other 70% of seniors in that research.
Senior living can be enjoyable and full of bounty. Efforts to think positively about one’s life situation and the gifts of life that one has, and take steps towards having a good mood, can pay off in the way seniors age gracefully.