Think Positive and Live Longer

June 9, 2017 in Our News & Bulletins by Uptown HC

Negative stereotypes about older people abound in our society– they’re frail, they’re slow, they can’t learn anything new, they’re not useful. Studies show that these negative perceptions can do more than just hurt feelings. Thinking more positively about growing older may help you live longer.

In one study, researcher Becca Levy of the Yale School of Public Health looked at middle-aged people’s responses to such statements as “Things keep getting worse as I get older,” and then followed them as they aged. Those people who had a positive attitude about aging lived about 7 and a half years longer than those who had a negative view of aging.

Changing your attitude about aging and ignoring negative stereotypes can lead to a longer life—and a happier one.

Levy, Becca R.; Slade, Martin D.; Kunkel, Suzanne R.; Kasl, Stanislav V. Longevity increased by positive self-perceptions of aging.

Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol 83(2): 261-270. doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.83.2.261

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