Mental Health Matters: Strategies for a Positive Mindset as You Age

people taking on patio with fireplace behind them

Keeping a positive mindset is crucial for living a longer and healthier life. Some studies have even proven that thinking positively about aging can help you live longer than your peers who think negatively about aging. Without positive thinking, you put yourself at a greater risk of developing certain mental illnesses, including depression, which negatively affects many older adults.

How a Negative Mindset Affects Seniors

Ageism is a real issue that can affect older adults, and it is defined by any negative connotations linked to seniors. These connotations are typically false beliefs, but they are often expressed and shared by people young and old. When seniors hear these beliefs, they may feel a decrease in their self-esteem and positive outlook on things.

A lowered self-esteem can, in turn, cause seniors to socially isolate themselves. This can lead to loneliness and depression, both of which can shorten a person’s lifespan. Loneliness and Depression can also cause physical symptoms in older adults, such as fatigue and sleeplessness.

However, seniors do not need to believe in the false statements others make regarding their age. By ignoring beliefs created due to ageism, all older adults can continue to age healthily and prove that those statements are not true.

How a Positive Mindset Affects People

One study performed by Yale University showed that seniors who kept a positive mindset could extend their lives by about seven and a half years. This means that staying positive could be more beneficial to your health than regular exercise, although staying active is still very important as you age.

Those who tend to think positively about themselves feel less stressed overall. This not only improves how you feel mentally, but it can improve your immune system too. Plus, when you keep a positive mindset, you are more likely to deal with negative situations more quickly, which can lessen your risk of developing depression.

How to Keep a Positive Mindset as You Age

While staying positive benefits your health, you may not know how to maintain that mindset. Some things you can do right now include staying physically active, managing your stress levels and staying socially connected, among so many other things.

Stay Physically Active

Performing at least 30 minutes of exercise each day is important to maintaining your health at any age. However, this doesn’t mean you need to take on a new sport; instead, just brisk walking will do the trick.

Seniors may struggle to find ways to stay active while enjoying it and feeling safe. Aside from walking, some low-impact sports like pickleball and activities like dancing and swimming may be good ways to stay physically active. If you live in a senior living community, you may also have access to a wide variety to exercise classes.

Manage Stress Levels

Stress can impact your mental and physical health in a negative way, so managing stress is important for healthy aging. If you often feel overwhelmed by stress, consider talking to a mental health professional who can help you cope.

For those with small amounts of stress, organizing your thoughts in a journal may help alleviate it. Some enjoy a bit of exercise, yoga or just some quiet time to yourself as a way to alleviate stress. Asking others, like family members or friends, for help when you need it can also take some stress off your plate.

Stay Socially Connected

Loneliness can be felt by anyone at any time regardless of whether that person is frequently around other people. However, creating and maintaining good relationships with others can increase the positive effects and decrease feelings of loneliness.

When you are looking to make new friends, taking a group class is a great way to find and meet new people. You can take anything from exercise classes to arts and culture courses, and you may find classes available at a local senior center or a public library.

Many senior living communities also offer frequent classes and courses for residents to enjoy if they reside in that community. Living in a retirement community also gives you the chance to meet like-minded neighbors who you may enjoy spending time with.

When you keep a positive outlook on aging, you’re bound to live longer and healthier. If you are looking to join a community that will support your journey of healthy aging, look no further than The Davis Community, a retirement community in Wilmington, North Carolina. At The Davis Community you will find many activities, events and programs to keep you active. Here you will find a community full of friendly people with interesting backgrounds at The Davis Community. Social hours, dinner with friends, getting together in the theater or a spa day with a neighbor are all great times to stay socially connected. All of this plus access to healthcare services are available on our campus.

The Davis Community is a rental retirement living community that offers a large variety of apartments and cottages for one all-inclusive monthly service fee. Contact us  to learn more about life at The Davis Community.



Link to contact form

Share This