Aging can be easier with a good attitude, study shows


July 18, 2011

An optimistic outlook can improve not only mental health but physical health as well. Many studies have been conducted on people of all ages, and the research reveals that positivity does in fact make a noticeable impact.

One study in particular examines the impact of optimism on aging adults, who may be prone to negative emotions as they deal with growing older. German scientists gave adults, younger and older, cognitive tests where they were shown pictures of faces that demonstrated a range of emotions. During periods where less attention was required from the study participants, the researchers noted that the older individuals were more distracted by the happy faces. The distraction directly correlated to better emotional stability.

"When coping with extremely stressful life challenges, it is critical to realistically appraise the situation but also to approach it with a positive attitude," said Dr. John Krystal, the editor of Biological Psychiatry, in which the study was published.

However, even happy people can get hurt, especially as they age, which makes it important to consider safety and security options, such as medical alert systems. An optimistic mindset and a personal emergency response system can help improve the quality of life for an older adult.