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Researchers at Yale University say embrace the idea of aging

Researchers at Yale University found that we can actually live longer if we fully embrace the idea of aging, and that the impact of a positive attitude towards aging is sometimes greater than physiological measures, like low blood pressure and cholesterol (thought to add a maximum of four years to life expectancy.)

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The researchers concluded longevity is actually increased by our positive self perceptions as we age.

The research found that those who didn't dwell on dread or deny the natural aging, and accepted it, enjoyed the benefits and rewards of the wisdom years and led more positive healthy lives. They also found that other factors, like health, gender and socio-economic status, can influence longevity.

A study at the University of Miami looked at two groups of older adults. One group was asked to keep a daily journal listing five things they felt grateful for (e.g. a friends generosity, something they'd learned, a sunset they'd enjoyed). After two months, those keeping gratitude journals we're more optimistic and felt happier than those who didn't journal. The journal group also reported fewer physical problems and spent more time being active.They fell asleep more quickly at night, slept longer and woke up feeling more refreshed.

Here are three steps to start the process of transforming your life and yourself. I have included a few computer resources that could reinforce those steps although they are just the tip of the iceberg. The internet provides so much information and connects us with others who are going through similar transitions and transformations.

1. Visualization

For one month, I collected positive images, organized and shared them using Pinterest a social photo sharing website that allows users to create and manage theme-based image collections including events, interests, hobbies and more. Users can browse other pinboards for inspiration,'re-pin' images to their own collections and/or 'like' photos. Pinterest's mission is to connect everyone in the world through the things they find interesting."

I started a Pinterest Board choosing images that evoked a positive or happy response for me, like wellness, happiness, companionship, joy, activities and other positive aging visuals. I challenged myself to look carefully at other photos chosen by people who we're much older than me. I consciously trained myself to look at the depth of meaning and beauty in the images.When I stumbled across an uplifting quote or banner, I added it to my board. After awhile, I had gathered a wonderful collection of images that we're inspiring and pleasing to me. The idea is to train the brain to search for the "positive" words and images and develop the ability to "see" the beauty in photos of the elderly.

Whenever I found myself getting discouraged or frustrated, I consciously went in search of something new and POSITIVE to add to my board. It has become my personal collection of positive thoughts and ideas for the present and the future.

Simple blogs like Blogger.com and WordPress.com can be easily established and managed by older adults. Blogs can alsoreinforce positive ideas for the future. My blog has allowed me to write about my ideas and plans with others, who then tend to respond favourably to the posts. This provides feedback and healthy recognition from others. As a result, my blog has become my own multimedia collage of positive ideas and plans that I can readily share.

2. Inspiration

Googleis my friend. There are so many inspirational articles and YouTube videos available if you take the time to seek them out. I bookmark my favourite sites and watch for inspirational and motivational presentations likeTEDtalksthat provide an immediate boost. Many educators and writers have fabulous websites, full of helpful and uplifting information.

Discussion groups with like-minded, friendly people can actually help older adults feel less isolated and lonely. There are proven benefits to participation in well-managed online communities.

3. Affirmation

    • I display my images on Pinterest so I can view them every day.

 

    • I send emailsasking friends to send me their favourite affirmations and inspirational messages.

 

    • I also have a beautiful paper journalthat I carry with me because I gather found objects and natural elements. I still love writing with a pen or pencil.

Social Media and Aging

Computers provide a gateway to information that can help us improve our quality of life as we age. We can glean through research reports and "how to" articles. It's easy to share our ideas and concerns with others. We can meet new friends and colleagues. Calorie trackers and nutritional websites help us understand and implement healthy eating into our lifestyle. In short, social media can be a catalyst to help us be the best that we can be. It's all there, at our fingertips.

Re-examine beliefs

Not in every case, but our core beliefs (what we think to be true and why we think that way) tend to evolve and change over time. However, some operate just below our conscious awareness and they greatly influence our attitudes, decisions, actions and responses. I find reflective journal writing is my preferred method to try and identify the thoughts and "inner voices" at work in my brain. Discussions with counsellors and coaches can help guide some introspective work. During major life transitions we often ask:

    • - who am I now

 

    • - what is my personal mission or purpose

 

    • - where do I belong

 

    • - who loves me

 

    • - whom do I love

 

    • - what do I need and want

 

    • - what are my goals

 

    • - how will achieve them

 

    • - who will help me

Re-evaluate your priorities

Re-think your plans

Re-boot your energy

Re-work your plan

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Posted in Dentistry Post Date 09/06/2018


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