The secret to living a long and healthy life is different for everyone. Some people swear by exercising and eating yogurt. Some say that laughter is the key to a long life. And yet others will say that a glass of red wine at dinner and lots of vegetables will keep you healthy into old age. Despite these wide ranging theories, some common traits are found in those who live longer, healthier lives as discovered by scientific studies. Here are some of the traits shared by those who live into their 80s and beyond!
As the old song says “You got to accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative.” Healthy thinking contributes to wellness. Positive thinkers are more apt to engage in healthy changes suggested by their healthcare providers and to believe that they can contribute to their own well-being. Optimists are more likely to feel empowered and believe they are in control of their own destiny along with good health.
Adaptable and Resilient
Happy seniors are resilient seniors. They have learned to roll with the punches. They have lived long enough to understand life’s ups and downs and they know that when life gives you lemons it is best to make lemonade. This ability to adapt and move on contributes to a happy life.
Communication and Connections
One of the risks of aging is becoming isolated and losing touch with others. Seniors who strive to stay connected to others experience better health and increased well-being. Human beings are social animals. We are not meant to be alone. Seniors who develop new networks of friends seem to boost their own good health. Don’t discount the power of electronic communication. While healthy seniors have friends and neighbors locally, Skyping with grandkids can lift spirits and create healthy laughter, too.
The Vitality of Activity
Healthy seniors are active seniors. Rather than sitting at home, worrying about their aches and pains, active seniors actively seek out new experiences and activities that exercise their mind. Dance class, learning a new language, joining a book club or walking club help seniors to enjoy life, make new friends, and keep their bodies and minds active.
Maintaining a Sense of Purpose
The healthiest seniors have found a way to feel important, to do meaningful things. When work and a career no longer feed self-esteem, other things must be found to provide a sense of meaning. Seniors find volunteer work they love and contribute to their community. Some help other seniors, some volunteer in their church or local library. The important thing is that having a sense of meaning keeps seniors connected, vital, and healthy.