It can be scary to think about the aging process. Each day brings us one step closer to that eventual time when our presence on this planet is over.
The uncertainty of death can cause the aging process to feel like a negative experience. Who wants to contemplate the idea of an afterlife when there is so much living to do right now?
When positive attitudes about aging are present in a person’s life, then it may lead to better health outcomes over the years.
Exposure to Positive Words Can Create Better Outcomes
When older adults receive exposure to positive age-related words about health, then it leads to better outcomes for each individual.
A recent study grouped seniors into two groups. One received negative age-related words, such as “senile,” “decrepit,” and “incompetent.” The other got exposed to positive concepts, such as “enlightened,” “wise,” and “accomplished.”
The effects over eight weeks were profound. The people who saw words subliminally on a screen too fast to comprehend consciously saw robust growth in positivity. This outcome led to health improvements, positive self-perceptions, and improvements to physical function.
How Positivity Impacts Aging
Positive thinking can change the aspects of gaining because it reduces stress levels. When lower levels of cortisol are in your body, then the immune system receives more strength and fewer risk factors for heart disease develop.
The power of positive thinking can result in up to a 15% increase in average lifespan. Individuals who live to the age of 85 or older have this trait in common, even when differences in income, gender, age, and health status are considered.
People who have positive outlooks about aging when they are young have the best chance of living longer. As you adjust your opinion on the idea of getting older and facing death, then the positive experiences built by the interaction can have a strong impact on life expectancy.
How does one start thinking about positive things when death feels like a negative event? The mindset of expectation is what matters. Accepting the idea that a circle of life exists means that an embrace of death starts at the moment life begins. We are on this journey together toward the great unknown. Instead of fighting against this fact, accept it.
Then work toward a common good. Making this life better for the people you encounter leads to positive outcomes at home.