It’s a known fact that our health deteriorates as we age, yet some people age much more gracefully than others. Instead of it being sheer luck, did you know that your mindset can play a big role in healthy aging? If you are a pessimist, there’s no reason to worry just yet as optimism is not something that’s set in stone, and it’s possible to train yourself otherwise.
In this article, we share with you the link between optimism and healthy aging!
Today, we are living longer than ever before. Most of us can expect to live well into our 80s and beyond. To this end, most older adults consider 68 and above to be when “old age” officially starts. One interesting finding in the study of optimism and aging is that between the ages of 50 and 68, levels of optimism go up but once an individual passes 68, this starts to go down. You may be wondering: what, then, does this have to do with health and wellbeing?
Why Does Optimism Go Down as We Age?
There are many reasons we start to become less optimistic in older adulthood. Our levels of self-perception are tied to three fundamental things: autonomy, competency, and connectivity. In your 50s and early 60s, this is when you retire and have more time to do the things you love doing, become a grandparent, and embark on this new phase of life.
However, past the age of 68, the newfound freedom you were enjoying previously can start to become dull and you may find your independence constrained by health conditions and/or mobility limitations. However, it’s not all bad news as up to only 25% of natural variance in optimism is inherited. The other 75% is up to you!
Optimistic Individuals Are More Likely to Practice Good Lifestyle Habits
Can your psychological mindset really influence your physical health and long-term prospects? Although it may not be able to do so directly, optimistic individuals are more likely to practice good lifestyle habits into their old age and as a result, have better health prognoses.
For instance, if you tend to believe that things will work out for the best, you are more likely to be invested in your health as age-related medical conditions start to take their toll. On the other hand, if you expect the worst to happen anyway, you may not see any point in giving up unhealthy lifestyle habits and focusing on practices that will lead to a better prognosis.
Age Gracefully at The Trace
If you are looking to improve your long-term prognosis as you transition into older adulthood, consider making the move to our senior living community at The Trace today, where you can age gracefully. Our senior living health programs have been designed to take into account multiple aspects of your health and wellbeing, and you can take part in senior living community events that include spiritual gatherings, exercise classes, game nights, themed dances, and lots more!