Recently, I went to have my eye check-up and discovered that my nearsightedness has switched over to farsightedness, something that can happen as we get older. I realized when I received my results that my eyes were the only part of my body that reminded me of my age. The rest of me felt pretty darn great.
The minute I had this realization, I noticed that most of the people around me were complaining about getting older. Yet, joy and embracing joy can make you feel better and even look better.
How do you feel about your age, your body and your life? Are you a complainer or an embracer?
A study published in JAMA Internal Medicine Online showed that there was a higher prevalence of death of individuals who felt their age or older (the study looked at 6,489 people who were an average age of 65.8 years) versus those who felt younger over an eight year period.
The opposite has also found to be true, where has found that people who possess conscientiousness and optimism live longer. According to researchers, individuals who make conscious healthy lifestyle choices, feel more masterful about themselves and their accomplishments, feel confident about spending time with people who are younger, and who uphold a positive mental attitude, tend to live longer and have happier lives.
Not all is lost for you if you are a complainer! The really cool part of this research is that scientist believe that by helping individuals change their attitude, become more positive, it is possible to improve resilience and longevity. In other words, change your attitude and you can be one of those folks who age successfully and happily.
Look for the Awe
Remember how you felt as a child? Everything was wondrous and you found awe in everything? Sure, that’s harder to do as you age. There’s sad memories which may haunt you, bad things which may have happened, financial hardships, stress raising children and on and on.
Getting older isn’t easy but when embrace it and remember the magic in the simple things, like we did as a child, awe can return at any age.
I’ll stress to you what I tell my friends and my clients regularly:
- You always have a choice.
- You can complain, worry, and focus on the negative. Or, you can embrace the negative as a means to uncover things about yourself that could use strengthening and healing.
- You can choose to believe that you signed up for this life experience and it was going to include the good and the bad, and you get to see what the adventure of this life will bring.
- You can choose to put a smile on your face and dance and open your heart, or be miserable and see yourself as a victim of life’s circumstances.
There is a lot of discussion about the impact of happiness on our health lately — there’s even a new conference on Happiness in Miami that is attracting people in the wellness and spirituality space. Here’s also a fun read on how to laugh more in your daily life.
If the end game is living longer and being more happy, what will you choose?