The question often arises, “Can a positive outlook on life improve our brain health?” Researchers adamantly affirm, “yes,” and here are some helpful suggestions we have found for aging adults and for their caregivers who want to be helpful.
Smiling truly helps physical and mental health and keeping a positive attitude takes it even further. Smiling releases endorphins. Even a forced smile genuinely decreases stress. In fact, research shows that good attitudes actually reduce the risk of dementia. Even when aging adults carry a gene variant linked to dementia, their good attitudes appeared to make them 50% less likely to develop the disorder. Pessimism, on the other hand, worked against them. These results are impressive and give us further motivation to keep up with positive relationships, personal connections and good attitude.
Stay Connected Intentionally
It’s often said that we are the sum total of our friends and interactions, regardless of whether it’s family, co-workers or friends. This means it’s especially important to intentionally surround ourselves with people with good attitudes. It’s contagious! Stay connected with those who keep good outlooks on life, are active and involved.
When people fall into the trap of complaining, beware and keep some distance. Complaining takes us down a path of negativity that’s not good for anyone. No one really wants to hear complaining about bad weather, long lines and aches or pains. It’s difficult to be around that kind of attitude for long, unless you are the same sort. So, even thought there are days that you may be down or aggravated, resolve to mingle with people who help you stay upbeat. Don’t allow self-pity to come over you like a dark cloud.
Routine is Good
Waking up at the same time every day has a health benefit. It’s not always easy but it matters. Morning rituals can keep us going, and especially if they involve conversation and healthy habits like a good breakfast or exercise.
Laugh as Much and Often as Possible
Allowing the rush of endorphins into the brain and bloodstream helps us feel good in so many ways. Keep laughter a regular part of life by going to the theater for funny movies or comedy shows. Turn something funny on the television or YouTube and interact with children whenever possible. Their liveliness and energy is always uplifting.
Be a Goal Setter
Looking forward to things in the upcoming days or weeks helps us with attitude and outlook. It makes us sharp and prepared. Create a list, make a plan, and accomplish tasks, regardless how big or small they might be.
Enjoy life to the fullest with good brain and body health! Protect your wellbeing with activity, healthy lifestyle changes and a positive attitude!