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5 Attitudes For Aging Gracefully

Develop a positive attitude

Even though our bodies deteriorate and impede our abilities with age, our brains continue to function well. The brain continues to form new connections and create new cells. It is our self-imposed limits that hold us back, not the capacity of our brain.

A study revealed that a positive attitude had a greater impact on survival. Positive people outlived negative people by an average of seven and a half years.

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Three domains of aging

  • Physical: Most people think of aging only as physical aging.
  • Cognitive: After middle age, around 60, memory and other abilities decline.
  • Psychosocial
Aging and stress

In older age, there is more stress caused by problems like physical illness, the deaths of dear ones, financial problems, retirement, and loss of a sense of purpose.

What matters is how you respond to that stress. With age, although there is a decline in physical health and cognitive function, psychosocial functioning progressively improves. Older people handle stress much better than someone in their 20s and 30s.

We get wiser with age

Studies have shown that older people are better able to control their emotions; they know themselves better, make better decisions that require experience, and have more compassion and empathy toward other people.

Lifestyle choices influence how you age

Adopting specific lifestyle behaviors can have a tangible effect on how well you age: activities like learning a new language, playing a musical instrument, taking part in aerobic exercise, and dev...

Aging process and cognitive decline

As time passes, there is a build-up of toxins in the brain that correlate to the aging process of cognitive decline. Although this is a natural part of growing older, many factors can exacerbate it. Stress, neurotoxins such as alcohol and lack of (quality and quantity) sleep can speed up the process.

Neuroplasticity

The key to resilient aging is improving neurogenesis, the birth of new neurons. 

This activity occurs in the hippocampus, the part of the brain that lays down memories. And we respond to and store new experiences every day, and cement them during sleep. The more we can experience new activities, people, places, and emotions, the more likely we are to encourage neurogenesis.

Getting wiser with age

Some things do get better with age: the ability to make decisions, control emotions, and have compassion for others.

The challenge to aging well is to be an optimist, resilient and pro...

3 Components of Aging
  • Physical;
  • Cognitive - when memory and other abilities decline;
  • Psycho-social:  includes things like well-being, happiness, quality of life, control of emotions, socialization.

Successful aging mainly refers to better well-being, greater happiness, and not just arriving at old age, but thriving and even flourishing.

Strategies for successful aging
  • Calorie restriction
  • Physical activity
  • Keeping your brain active: do something that is somewhat challenging. Not too stressful, but somewhat challenging. 
  • An appropriate degree of socializing
  • Attitude and behavior: resilience, optimism, compassion, doing things for others, volunteering activities.
  • Other strategies like meditation for reducing stress.