How can a positive attitude help you live longer? Do positive people really live longer? Here are 9 amazing ways a positive attitude affects your health.
Just Smile! Science has shown that the act of smiling can: lift your mood, lower stress, boost your immune system, lower the likelihood of dementia, and possibly help you live longer.
Dr. Isha Gupta, a neurologist from IGEA Brain and Spine explains that a smile spurs a chemical reaction in the brain. The hormones dopamine and serotonin are released. “Dopamine increases our feelings of happiness. Serotonin release is associated with reduced stress.” Says Dr. Gupta.
Now you know why a smile, even an artificial smile will give you a happy feeling. So just “Fake It till You Make It” and you can trick your brain into believing that it is happy!
“Optimism is a hopeful, confident attitude toward the future. A confidence of a successful outcome.” That is the definition of someone with a positive attitude!
A Better Quality of Life
Your opinion on aging while you are still young can influence a positive outcome in your future years.
There are many benefits of this. They include reduced stress, improved immunity, and a lower risk of heart disease. You often get fewer colds, and flu, and are more energetic. But why would that be?
One reason may be adjusting your opinion while you are still young can build a positive perspective and make you more proactive towards your health.
Do Positive People Really Live Longer?
When you have a positive outlook, you will have less of the stress hormone cortisol in your body this makes you less likely to experience stress and have a reduced risk of chronic disease.
Like fine wine, people should get better with age. Greater experience combined with maturity gives older people impressive insight that they did not have as a younger person. They are better at prioritizing the important things in life.
9 Amazing Ways a Positive Attitude Affects Your Health
- Reduces your stress.
- Puts a smile on your face!
- Improves cholesterol levels.
- Lowers risk of heart disease.
- Reduces your risk of chronic diseases.
- Recover more quickly from illness or injury.
- Lowers the stress hormone, cortisol, in your body.
- Boosts your immune response so you will not get colds and flu as often.
3 Ways to Lower Your Stress Levels
- Undisturbed, restful, good night’s sleep.
- Deep breathing to fill your nostrils and your lungs. In through the nose and out through the mouth.
- Positive self-talk. Too many people are critical toward themselves, in their self-talk. Be kind to yourself. Put post-it-notes on your bathroom mirror to see while brushing your teeth. Post them in your car to help you be patient with traffic.
How Can a Positive Attitudes Lead to a Longer Life?
Research has found that those who have a positive outlook on aging while they are young, rather than dreading it, have a greater chance of living longer. Those with a positive outlook often have a stronger immune system with fewer colds and flues.
Numerous studies have shown that people with a generally positive, optimistic, and hopeful attitude, have greater odds of living to the age of 85 and beyond. Reports suggest that optimism is specifically related to a 11 – 15% longer life span.
Healthy aging is often defined by people taking better care of their minds and their bodies. In addition to positive thinking, they include lifestyle factors such as eating a nutrient-dense diet to maintain a healthy weight, not smoking, and only moderate amounts of alcohol if any at all.
Aging Is Something We All Must Face
Some centenarians who have lived to 100 years old claim it is because of their positive attitude.
Experts say that how we approach these years has much to do with our happiness and health as we age. According to the medical journal, Psychology Today, a positive attitude towards the passing years may slow down the aging process.
“We are what we think” may be truer than we realize as we grow older. Positive thoughts help us keep a youthful attitude toward life. They help insulate us from the negative experiences that happen. Positive attitudes even reduce the risk of heart disease and dementia.
How Your Thoughts Affect Your Body
On the opposite side of the coin, those who are continually pessimistic in their thought patterns, researchers have found that they become physically frail and have a greater chance of dementia.
7 Secrets to Maintaining a Positive Attitude Toward Aging
1 Spend Time with Others Who Are Positive
When you maintain and strengthen your existing positive relationships, it keeps a comfortable, constant in your life. Someone who cares and shares your history. However, it is important to meet new people and broaden your perspective. They may bring in new ways of thinking that help you to grow. The bottom line is they must be bringing in a positive vibe into your life.
2 Pay It Forward
If you have a skill or critical thinking that would make this world a better place, you can do your part to pay it forward. Volunteering your time is worthwhile for you and for the one on the receiving end as well.
3 Continue to Learn.
You are never too old to keep learning. Engage your mind in mentally challenging activities. Some have taken up learning a new language. Perfecting your skills in things like chess, or other challenging games help to keep your brain active and young.
4 Set Personal Goals
When you keep looking ahead, it gives you a sense of control and independence over your life. When you accomplish your goals, it gives you a strong sense of fulfillment. It could be something as simple as keeping up each day with the daily sudoku or crossword puzzle. You will have to broaden your scope to meet with your own horizon.
5 Stay Active.
We are all unique and our physical abilities are as well. Whether it is lifting weights or going for a walk, each day, get your body moving and stay active. You lose muscle mass each decade after 30 years old, so you are never too young to get those muscles moving and add exercise to your day.
6 Keep a Gratitude Journal
In a gratitude journal jot down the day-by-day things to be grateful for. They can be small or large. Even if it is just a brief list in your phone, or longer entries in a journal, is a powerful way for you to identify your daily emotions. You can acknowledge negative emotions and deal with them by adding positive affirmations to help you overcome them.
7 Manage Your Stress
Everyone has some stress in their life to stay healthy. It must, however, be at a manageable level. Just like you would not give a toddler a 20lb sack of flour to carry, but they would be able to carry a one-pound block of cheese. Without some stress, life would be dull and meaningless. So, you must manage your stress levels, and learn to say “no” when given more than you are “able to carry”. In a physical way, for your body to be strong you must put some stress on your muscles and bones. At least, get out and go for a walk to give them some necessary stress.
Have a reason to get up every morning. This is vital to your outlook on life, say aging experts. Have a purpose in life. Plan your day ahead to find a routine or purpose.
Some volunteer their time at a local animal shelter or senior care community. Others take up a hobby. Some join a club, it could be for exercise, quilting, or weight loss.
By applying these steps to your life, you can ensure a positive outlook and help you realize that “attitude is everything.”
The Power of Positive Thinking
According to Johns Hopkins expert Lisa R. Yanek, M.P.H., and her colleagues their findings were that people with a family history of heart disease and at a most likely risk for coronary artery disease, were 13% less likely to have a heart attack or other coronary event than their negative counterparts. Positive people in general were less likely to have heart disease.
We spoke of 9 amazing ways a positive attitude affects your health, and 7 secrets to maintaining a positive attitude toward aging.
Aging is not lost youth but a new opportunity.
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional. No content on this site should be substituted for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare practitioners. The information contained here is for informational purposes only. It is from my research and personal experience.
6 thoughts on “9 Amazing Ways a Positive Attitude Affects Your Health”
How important is to have a positive attitude. I had considered some of the points you mentioned here, but not all of them. And the most important for me now is that our attitude can boost our immune response. I have seen some people struggle with COVID-19 and others that are way older (but are always cheerful) have recovered quickly.
Hi Ann, and thanks for stopping by with a comment. I have heard some who have lived to be 100 years old say that they attribute their longevity to not worrying about things but living in the moment and enjoying things. I personally feel if we can change a situation for the better, go ahead and try. But otherwise we need to leave it in God’s hands to control the outcome. That way we can live at our greatest potential. Thanks for stopping by!
Thanks for an amazingly positive article here. I always remember hearing years ago that each time you smile, the chemicl reaction caused by doing so can cause you to live for a second longer each time. I dont know what truth is in that statistic, but smiling certainly improves your health. Its also good for everyone around you.
Hi Kwidzin, thanks for stopping by with a comment. Having a reason to get up in the morning is so important to health, longevity and our overall outlook on life. A smile will lower cortisol levels and raise levels of dopamine and serotonin, these are all good reasons to have a positive attitude in life.
Absolutely agree and love this article! Your mental health sure plays a big part in your physical health too. As we humans encounter all kinds of hardship, how we approach life matters a lot. And having this positive mindset despite what we go through helps more than we think. While problems are inevitable, we can also play our parts and to some extent avoid some of them. Like you mentioned, hang out with other positive people, that’s a sure fire way to avoid toxic friendships. Surrounding yourself with other positive people can be uplifting, and you can get through things together. This only adds more positivity to your life, and contributes to better overall health too. Great article!
Hi Julian, and thanks for stopping by with a comment! How much better to have a positive “can do” attitude than a “poor me” one! And to think that it affects our physical health as well. Having a reason to get up in the morning is a great way to keep us positive and motivated. The people who live in the 5 Blue Zones found that to be vital to their longevity.
All the best!