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Smile and Live Longer: Attitude and Aging

It turns out a positive attitude, social interaction and mental exercise may play the most important role in helping us age well.

Living a healthier lifestyle is the most common New Year’s resolution. It’s a resolution that takes on even more importance as we age. Losing weight, eating healthier, quitting smoking, and exercising are all-important factors in staying healthy. It’s no surprise these are the most popular New Year’s resolutions year after year.

But research now shows that a positive attitude, social interaction and mental exercise may play an even more important a role in aging well.

Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine's New England Centenarian Study found that people who were friendlier and more optimistic lived longer, healthier lives.

Numerous researchers including University of California Irvine psychologists who studied healthy adults 90 and older agree that mental engagement such as doing crossword puzzles, reading books, and even playing bridge prevents memory loss.

Social connections including interaction with friends appear to play a critically important role. In isolation, psychologists have learned a healthy human mind can go blank and quickly become disoriented.

People who age well are people who maintain resilience, choose a positive outlook and forge close ties with family and friends.

While we can’t control the challenges life brings, we are in control of our reaction to what happens and how we deal with it. Taking personal responsibility and choosing to overlook the negative has an amazing effect on your physical as well as mental health.

Rather than adopting a New Year’s resolution having to do with diet or exercise, why not resolve to focus on your attitude. Seek purpose in life, connect with others and above all, resolve to be positive.

So instead of dragging yourself to the gym, smile and invite a neighbor over for game night! You don’t even have to buy new gym shoes for this. 

InTouch at Home is a Senior Resource Group, LLC (SRG) company. Serving the needs of seniors and their families for more than 20 years, SRG delivers on the promise of exceptional service and quality care each and every day through its 18 communities including La Vida Real (Rancho San Diego) and La Vida Del Mar. For more information, call 858-522-9942 or visit InTouch-at-Home.com.

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ROBERT E. FISHBACK January 18, 2013 at 07:29 PM
Oh, google this if you doubt. There was an unexplained laughing epedemic in..Tanzania ??? years ago when people just burst into laughing and could not quit. It even shut down the schools for a time...And, did you know Preparation H is also called Polish Chapstick.
John Jones April 29, 2013 at 02:36 PM
I am just wondering when the Boston University study you cite was published? Do you have any links to it?
John Jones April 29, 2013 at 04:27 PM
I am just wondering when the Boston University study you cite was published? Do you have any links to it?
Josh Allen April 29, 2013 at 11:21 PM
This is a link to all of the Boston University centenarian studies: http://www.bumc.bu.edu/centenarian/
ROBERT E. FISHBACK April 30, 2013 at 12:12 AM
I am about to get cynical again, but honest (I hope) It seems that greaving is in now. Its become a "who can top this" in grieving. Which site had the most flowers and teddy bears....which tragedy produced the biggest memorial marathon? I really believe the people are grieveing, but I also believe their lives are so empty and they hurt so inside..they look for a place to discharge in the community spirit. Much like "mysery loves company.....

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