Sunnyside’s Senior Living Health Tips: For Good Health, Make Every Day As Fresh and Optimistic As New Year’s Day

More than any other holiday or time of year, the new year is associated with optimism and hope. It’s a fresh start! As the year begins, we look ahead to all of the possibilities, and make resolutions to improve health and well-being. But, did you know that the “fresh start” we feel in early January may be key to a long, healthy life?

“I look to the future because that’s where I’m going to spend the rest of my life.” ―George Burns

For seniors who have thrived through many decades of “fresh starts” there is often a common thread: those who live long, healthy lives, are more likely to carry the optimism of a new year with them every day.

Optimism – an overall sense that good things will happen in the future – has been shown to improve health and promote longevity.

Optimism Has Health Benefits

Research has shown that optimistic people tend to be healthier overall, have stronger immune systems, and are more likely to live to age 100 and beyond. Even when researchers control for other factors, optimists live longer!

  • A Harvard School of Public Health study showed that over eight years, senior women with the highest levels of optimism were up to 30% less likely to die from heart disease, cancer, and stroke.
  • Research at the University of Kentucky found that when students were more optimistic, their immune response increased significantly.
  • In a study of centenarians, most who made it past 100 had a lifelong positive outlook and overall optimistic worldview.

Optimism Can Be Learned

Fortunately, optimism can be learned at any age, and you’ll feel the benefits immediately. As any optimist will tell you, it’s never too late to start! Share these practices with the special senior in your life, and improve your outlook together.

How To Be More Optimistic

  1. Practice seeing the positive. Keep a journal, and write down a list of three positive things that happen every day, no matter how minor they may seem.
  2. Smile! The act of smiling, even a “fake” smile, has been shown to improve mood.
  3. Make time to laugh. Watch funny shows or videos and read funny books. Not only is this enjoyable, but it trains the mind to notice the humor in any situation.
  4. Get moving! Exercise is a natural mood enhancer.
  5. Share the positivity. Along with the special senior in your life, include people who make you feel good in your positive actions. It’s good for your health and theirs!

The all new Sunnyside Manor, located in Wall NJ, is the area’s premier senior living community. It features three distinctive neighborhoods: Independence ‘Plus’ Assisted Living, Memory Care and Skilled Nursing.

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