Part of aging successfully includes embracing the power of positive thinking. Studies show that having an optimistic outlook on life can lead to better outcomes in a variety of things ranging from how you feel about aging to how well you age.
What can you do to develop a more positive outlook in the new year?
We have a few suggestions for our readers in western Washington to try.
6 Steps to Improve Your Outlook on Life in 2017
- Begin each day with a positive. Take a few minutes first thing in the morning to read a daily inspiration or even a joke of the day. It can help get your day off to a positive and productive start.
- Stop the negative self-talk. There is an old adage that says “what you think about you bring about.” By adopting a positive word or short phrase for 2017, you can give yourself something healthy to focus on when your day isn’t going the way you hoped. It might be “possibilities” or “fortunate” or “I am blessed.” When you find your thoughts drifting in a negative direction, force yourself to concentrate on your word for the year.
- Keep a gratitude journal. Acknowledging and focusing on the good things in your life can help you re-wire how you talk to yourself. Every evening write down ten things you are grateful for that happened during the day. You will be surprised at the difference gratitude can make in your life!
- Mindful exercise. Take up a new form of exercise that embraces the mind, body, and spirit connection. Tai Chi, yoga and Pilates are all great options that can be performed at any age. Each of these forms of exercise teaches better breathing techniques that are great for managing stress.
- Volunteer your time. Helping others often brings a sense of purpose and meaning to life. This is especially true for older adults. Research shows that volunteering can have a positive impact on everything from blood pressure to cognitive health.
- Make time for laughter. The healing benefits of laughter have been well documented. Finding something to laugh about every day can improve how you feel about life. It might be something as simple as watching a few crazy cat videos on YouTube or enjoying your favorite sitcom. Doing whatever it is that tickles your funny bone can help you stay positive.
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