Recent research suggests that individuals who maintain positive attitudes towards the ageing process tend to enjoy longer and healthier lives compared to those with negative perceptions of growing older.
This groundbreaking study was conducted on a cohort of 14,000 adults aged 50 and above. Contributions from experts at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health have unveiled compelling findings. It reveals that individuals who express the highest satisfaction with ageing experience a remarkable 43% lower risk of mortality from any cause over a four-year period when compared to their less content counterparts.
Furthermore, this research has uncovered a range of benefits associated with a positive perspective on ageing. Including reduced risks of diabetes, stroke, cancer, and heart disease. Enhanced cognitive functioning, increased physical activity, improved sleep quality, decreased feelings of loneliness and depression, and a heightened sense of optimism and purpose in life.
Eric Kim, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia and an affiliate researcher at the Lee Kum Sheung Center for Health and Happiness at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, emphasised the profound connection between one’s mindset and health behaviours. He articulated, “There’s a connection between mindsets and health behaviours. One leads to the other.”
Kim has offered valuable suggestions for cultivating a positive attitude toward ageing:
- Pursue a Sense of Purpose: Discover projects and endeavours that align with your core values. Maintaining a sense of purpose can greatly contribute to a positive outlook on ageing.
- Challenge Ageing Stereotypes: Refuse to embrace negative stereotypes about growing older, such as the misconception that declining physical health is an inevitable aspect of ageing. A positive mindset can help defy these stereotypes.
- Stay Socially Active: Engage in social activities and connections by joining clubs or participating in community organizations. Social interaction is a key component of a fulfilling and optimistic aging experience.
- Explore New Activities: Embrace novelty by trying new activities or sharing your skills and crafts with others. Learning and teaching can be rewarding and contribute to a positive perspective on ageing.