Your Positive Aging Plan
How An Optimistic Attitude Can Help You

Authored by William G. DeFoore, Ph.D.

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Why positive aging? Because you're going to be doing it anyway, so why not
figure out how to do it in a positive way so you can enjoy it?

Think about are aging all of your life, cradle to grave. And you're working hard to create a happy life, so that you can do more of what you want to do and less of what you don't want to do.

We're going to look at two pieces of research that will help you to enjoy your aging process. One focuses on how you feel about your age, and the other one shows the benefits of a positive perception of aging.

Young At Heart

Positive Aging Is A Feeling

An excellent article on positive aging by Yagana Shah cites research that shows how feeling younger than you are may actually lead to a longer life span. Feeling young at heart leads to healthier behaviors and more resilience, the study reports.

This is right along the lines of Ellen Langer's book entitled, Counterclockwise: Mindful Health and the Power of Possibility. In her fascinating book, Langer describes how she helped elderly disabled men to look, act and feel younger, simply by creating relationships, conversations and environments that took them 30 years into their past.

The conclusion to draw here is that how you feel about your health and your age has a huge impact on your actual physical, mental and emotional well being.

Here are some steps you can take toward feeling young and healthy:

  • Never say anything negative about aging or getting old. Start saying only positive things about your mind, your memory and your body (unless you need to tell something specifically to a health care professional).
  • Look for, talk about and focus on examples of people staying fit, happy and active as they age. These are your role models. When you see them, read about them or hear about them, say to yourself, "That is me. I am just like that."
  • Make up your mind that you are going to age gracefully, and enjoy your life all the way to the end. Get your copy of Elegant Aging: Growing Deeper, Stronger, Wiser.

positive aging

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Positive Aging Is An Attitude

Attitudes are formed subconsciously, long before you even become aware of them. For example, your attitudes about aging have been programmed since you were a child. This is nobody's fault, it's just the way it is.

The good news is that you can change your attitudes! And it's very important that you do, otherwise your health, your future, and your aging process is in the control of people you may never have met, and people you may not even agree with.

Researcher Becca Levy reports in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology that a positive attitude about aging extends life by 7.5 years, more than twice the impact of healthy body mass, diet, non-smoking and exercise factors.

Read the entire article here

This is
nothing short of earth-shaking news, when you think about it. Conventional wisdom would tell us a positive attitude is great, but what really impacts your health and longevity is diet, exercise, non-smoking and body mass. But this study completely contradicts that viewpoint.

So now let's look at some ways that you can change your attitude:

  • First, make a list of all of the negative thoughts, beliefs and attitudes about aging, getting old and old people that you can think of. Keep adding to your list until you feel strongly that it is complete.
  • Then, replace every one of those old, negative beliefs with new, positive beliefs that encourage, uplift and reassure you that you can enjoy good health and lots of happiness as you move through the rest of your life. You'll find all of the new, positive views of aging you need in this program.
  • Now make a separate list of those new, positive, uplifting beliefs and read them several times a day, every day, until they become your new attitude.

This is a tool that works...but only if you use it. Remember, your attitudes are deeply embedded in your subconscious mind, so it will take a lot of repetition of your new beliefs for them to fully form your new positive aging attitude.

Aging is life itself, so make sure your attitudes and feelings work well for you!

What if you could get younger next year?

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