Since starting Sixty and Me, almost 5 years ago, I have noticed something interesting; the positive thinkers among us are, on average, happier, more active, stronger, more social and more engaged with the world.
Of course, this is completely anecdotal. I don’t have any statistics to back up my claim. But, based on my conversations with hundreds of my Sixty and Me sisters, I can say that positivity really is one of the keys to happier, healthier aging.
Well, today, I want to share one more reason to think positively – it could help you to right off dementia!
Recently, researchers from Yale University completed a study of over 5,000 men and women over 60.
After following their subjects for four years, they discovered that the participants that had the most negative thoughts about aging were also the ones that had the highest risk of developing dementia.
The participants with a tendency towards negative thinking were more likely to agree with statements like “The older I get, the more useless I feel.”
Conversely, the participants with the most positive thoughts about aging, were significantly less likely to develop dementia. This was true regardless of whether they had a genetic predisposition to dementia.
According to Becca Levy, professor of public health and of psychology “We found that positive age beliefs can reduce the risk of one of the most established genetic risk factors of dementia… This makes a case for implementing a public health campaign against ageism, which is a source of negative age beliefs.”
There are many possible explanations for why positive people may be less likely to develop dementia. The researchers speculated that positive people may be better able to deal with stress, which may reduce the risk of dementia.
It is also possible that people with more positive beliefs about aging may be more likely to get out into the world and, since exercise is critical to keeping your brain healthy, may be less likely to develop dementia. But, this second possible explanation is just speculation on my part.
So, the bottom line is this… you have nothing to lose by being a little more positive about the aging process. In fact, you have everything to gain.
So, to help you get started, here are a few articles that you may want to read. I hope that they help you to find the positivity, health and happiness that you deserve!
What do you do to feel more positive? Do you write down what you are grateful for? Do you meditate or pray? Something else? Let’s start a conversation!
Tags Brain Health