Sunday, September 12

How your attitudes affect your health

 Are you looking forward to the upcoming week? Do you get the sensation of being younger than your age? Do you possess a sense of direction? If this is the case, you may already be reducing your risk of degenerative illnesses and maybe adding years to your life.

Your outlook—a feeling of optimism and purpose—seems to be predictive of health outcomes," says Dr Laura Kubzansky, a Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health professor of social and behavioural sciences. Dr Kubzansky has conducted research on the health consequences of various types of psychological well-being. She discovered that emotional vitality—characterized by optimism, participation in life, and the capacity to deal with life's challenges in a balanced manner—is related to a much lower risk of heart attack and stroke.

Emotional vitality's advantages

Dr Kubzansky and her colleagues evaluated data on emotional vitality and health outcomes from the Nationwide Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), a long-running national study that includes both personal interviews and medical examinations.

In 2007, she and her colleagues found that among 6,025 individuals, those with high levels of emotional vitality at the start had considerably reduced risks of cardiovascular illness 15 years afterwards. They found in 2015 that higher emotional liveliness was related to a reduced risk of stroke in 6,019 people followed for an average of 16 years.

Other research indicates that those who maintain emotional vibrancy while coping with chronic disease and disability also do well. The Women's Health and Aging Study follows over 1,000 women aged 65 or older who have different degrees of impairment but remain self-sufficient. Women with more emotional vitality fared considerably better than their less-positive counterparts with comparable degrees of impairment on two tests meant to assess loss of function—walking speed and the capacity to lift at least 10 pounds—in that group.

Appropriately acquiring emotional vigour

If you've had a glass-half-empty perspective on life for decades, adopting a new, more optimistic perspective may be difficult. Nonetheless, the following recommendations may prove beneficial.

Avoid obsessing about your age. An increasing amount of studies suggests that individuals who report feeling younger than their chronological years live longer. According to British research of 6,500 adults with an average age of 65, those who reported feeling older than their real age had a 41% increased chance of dying over the following eight years compared to those who reported feeling younger than their actual age. And if you do consider ageing, appreciating the good elements, such as wisdom, experience, and emotional maturity, may help you live longer. A study team examined data from the Ohio Longitudinal Study on Aging and Retirement in 2000. They discovered that men and women who reported favourable attitudes on ageing 23 years ago lived an average of 7.5 years longer than those who expressed unfavourable sentiments.

Concentrate on what is most critical. Numerous studies have established that this concentration improves with age, Dr Kubzansky notes. With experience, we improve our ability to distinguish between situations that require our immediate attention and those that are only minor annoyances. When you're fretting over a perceived insult or a delayed trip, it may help to examine the event through the lens of your entire life.

Maintain a state of mindfulness. Consistent research suggests that practising mindfulness—focusing on the present moment and accepting your thoughts and feelings without judgment—has a slew of psychological advantages, ranging from anxiety relief to weight loss assistance. It may prevent you from reverting to unpleasant ideas in the near term.

Maintain a feeling of direction. You may believe that you've reached the pinnacle of your abilities just as you're forced to retire. That is not to say that you must embrace the idea that you are no longer as capable as you once were. Rather than that, you might consider this significant life transition as a chance to start a company; learn a new sport, language, or musical instrument; or immerse yourself in volunteer activities. This might result in the creation of new frontiers.

Source: Health-Havard.

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