Research cited in Psychology Today suggests that how long you live is partly determined by how you think about aging. An interesting longitudinal study tracked adults for 23 years, measuring mortality and asking about their perceptions of aging.
Turns out that people who had positive perceptions of aging lived longer than those who didn’t. This means they thought about what they gained with age, rather than what they lost. For example, some people were more likely to say getting older gives you time to learn new things. Others focused instead on loss of health with age.
Loss – of family, friends, mobility – is inevitable as you get older. Focusing on it, though, is apparently counterproductive. Instead, this research suggests that emphasizing opportunities for growth will help you live longer. Examples that immediately come to mind for me are that getting older has given me more time to paint, travel, sail, visit, take walks, and read. Additional benefits include no commuting and healthier eating, since I have time to cook.
Did I mention travel, and painting?! Yes, I feel very fortunate to have the time, health and resources now to travel. As you know, my trips inspire my paintings, which in turn give me – and my collectors – more pleasure. Here’s a new painting of St. Emilion, the famous Bordeaux wine town. In November, it’s eerily empty at night, with dramatic lighting of its cobblestone streets and medieval buildings. And yes, the town has aged quite well indeed.
You are so right, Beth! On both counts.
Robyn, glad you enjoyed my post, St. Emilion, and my painting of it!
Thanks, Jerry, I’ll check it out!
I alway said that aging is NOT for sissies – a positive attitude and attention to self-care is key.
I agree totally with the upside of aging–if health is good, one can do so much– and I take every opportunity to enjoy the day and all its offerings. I’ve been to St Emilion, such a gorgeous village. Thanks for your rendering.
Hi Beth. Read “Successful Aging” by Daniel Levitin. Great book!