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6 Ways Seniors Can Improve Health with a Positive Approach Toward Aging

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15th May 2017

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Age is no barrier. It’s a limitation you put on your mind.

Jackie Joyner-Kersee

May is Older Americans Month. This national celebration was developed by the Administration for Community Living (ACL) to reshape how we view aging. People are living and working longer, striving to maintain their independence and taking control of their own well-being.

Be positive and improve your health while aging

The 2017 theme of Older Americans Month, “Age Out Loud,” seeks to give a new voice to the aging experience and shine light on important trends.

By embracing a positive outlook, seniors can improve heart health, extend life expectancy, improve relationships, increase self-esteem, promote more effective decision-making, and reduce stress according to Dr. David Burns of the Stanford University School of Medicine.

While the benefits of positivity are undeniable, acclimating to this lifestyle takes effort. Stannah offers these healthy-thinking strategies to help seniors adapt a positive approach towards aging.

  • Appreciate the PresentEveryday Health encourages the elderly to spend a brief period each day focusing on the things in life they are thankful for, no matter how big or small. Write these thoughts down and use them as reference any time negative thoughts begin to permeate your life.
  • Conquer Negativity – Some seniors may subconsciously fill their brains with negative thoughts. It is important to make an attempt to identify these thoughts as soon as they arise. If you’re constantly saying to yourself, “I’m so forgetful, I feel dumb,” write it down. Closely examine this feeling and determine how you can overcome it. Make a concerted effort to tackle the underlying problems causing it. If it’s not something you can easily resolve, avoid letting it define you – embrace this concern and find other ways you can excel.  Getting older does not automatically prevent you from continuing to have a fulfilling and exciting life. Former President George H.W. Bush, who is mostly confined to a wheelchair at this stage of his life, celebrated his 90th birthday by skydiving, and seemingly-unstoppable actress Betty White is still regularly performing at the age of 95.
  • Employ Positive Affirmations – Attitude is a choice, and replacing negative thoughts with positivity is a learning process. Collect some positive affirmations about yourself and repeat them daily until they become a natural part of your thinking. Sticking a note on your mirror is an easy way to remind yourself each day of the unique things that make you great. Don’t be discouraged if you’re struggling to compile a list, this is a natural part of shifting your attitude and will become easier with time. Vital Affirmations has some helpful tips to get you started
  • Be a Role Model – In 2013, AARP Contributor Barbara Hannah Grufferman dedicated her life to embracing positive aging  after discovering people over 50 constitute the largest demographic in the history of the world. This is an exciting time, as the aging Baby Boomer population will define how future seniors approach active aging. Use this time to be a role model for the younger generations and encourage a change in society’s view towards aging as opposed to its current fascination with retaining youth. Hosting a community event is a great start and the ACL offers a useful guide for getting involved.
  • Determine your Purpose – When seniors feel as if they have no purpose in life, each day can be a struggle both mentally and physically. Avoiding this rut is an important part of a positive approach to aging. Sizzling Towards Sixty describes purposeful life as one where our full potential in terms of abilities and capacities is used to make a meaningful contribution to our families and communities. Something as simple as helping your adult children with their laundry while they work, or volunteering to read books at a local daycare, can increase happiness and quality of life.
  • Surround Yourself with Positivity – Human interaction plays a vital role in how a senior embraces the aging process. Certain individuals may lift your spirits and help you stay positive – while others’ pessimistic outlook may ultimately damage your mindset. Increase your social activity and befriend those with similar attitudes that can help you become a more positive person. Life is too short to harbor negativity, so it is important to limit time with, or avoid altogether, people that are detrimental to your happiness.

Need some additional motivation? Check out these amazing accomplishments of elderly people.

Don’t let the stairs in your home counteract your commitment to positive thinking. If you feel that navigating these steps is a hindrance to your daily life, it may be time to consider a Stannah Stairlift. With minimal modifications required, Stannah can help you safely navigate your home and maintain your independence. Check out our testimonials page and discover the positive impact a stairlift can have on your life.