When starting your day, the most important thing everyone should have is their smile. That advice comes courtesy of the team at Accredited Home Careo, which has seen first-hand how a positive attitude can not only brighten one’s day but improve one’s health as well.
It’s certainly easy enough to find things to be unhappy about in the world, starting from the state of the government, to little things at home that may start to bug us in big ways. Disappointments, recent changes or regrets over the course of our life can also contribute to a rise in negative feelings, including family, career or overall health.
And that’s OK — many of us have lived long enough and had enough valuable life experiences that we’re fully justified in not holding back in stating our opinions and expressing ourselves.
But it’s also quite easy to fall into the trap of beginning to hate everything and simply feeling and acting foul. And part of being grumpy is wanting to share your mood with others who likely will throw it right back and add new things for us to be unhappy about.
It’s more of a challenge to take the opposite tack: if we go out of our way to look on the bright side and find the joy in life, no matter what, we’ll likely get this attitude returned from most everyone around us.
Additionally, studies have shown that having a positive attitude also can lead to health benefits.
Scientific American analyzed various studies on optimism for all ages and found some likely connections between good health and a good outlook.For instance, optimists generally have a stronger immunity to the flu vaccine, take fewer days to recover from injury or illness, and have less risk of stroke or heart disease. They’re also more likely to be physically active, eat better and are less likely to smoke.
For instance, optimists generally have a stronger immunity to the flu vaccine, take fewer days to recover from injury or illness, and have less risk of stroke or heart disease. They’re also more likely to be physically active, eat better and are less likely to smoke.Interestingly, a sense of optimism grows or at least holds steady until age 68, when it drops off in many people. At this point, maybe loved ones have passed away or maybe a housing or financial situation has changed, or even physical or mental health
Interestingly, a sense of optimism grows or at least holds steady until age 68, when it drops off in many people. At this point, maybe loved ones have passed away or maybe a housing or financial situation has changed, or even physical or mental health is affected.
It’s also an age when depression is known to grow, something that can show up in a variety of ways, everything from not having an appetite to less interest in taking part in physical activities. Too many skipped meals or skipped walks around the block can have health impacts as well. This age and beyond are a time when it’s even more important to search for the positive to boost attitude and health.
Flip those negative feelings around
Whether you’ve been a little grouchy all your life or have just recently started losing some of your zest for life, the good news is that you can start changing your attitude anytime to something happier. With practice, it can also become easier to put that smile up and keep it.
Try some of these strategies:
Move:. Physical activity can boost your mood and help your health in big ways. Even if you don’t think your body is up for intense work-outs anymore, there are plenty of low-impact activities that can at least get your heart rate up and your muscles in motion. A walk around the block is useful, as is simply stretching out a few times a day. A yoga class can help flexibility and your mental balance as well. One study from the National Center for Biotechnology Information invited seniors in a nursing home to attend a 60-minute dance sessions each week for three weeks, and found that depressive feelings and symptoms decreased noticeably.
Go outside: You don’t have to do anything formal like gardening, although this is often a nice activity that can be engaging. But forcing yourself to go outside of your living room or bedroom can give you a nice perspective and you don’t have to travel far. Sit for a certain amount of time enjoying your surroundings and soaking up healthy Vitamin D.
Find people: Social interaction can be tricky when you’re not feeling good about your health and your life. It can certainly take an effort to go outside as well especially if you’re out of the habit of it or don’t have regular transportation anymore. But the results are generally positive – you can develop friendships, play games and even laugh, which all can be good for your physical and mental health. A local senior center or rec center may have activities for people your age. A school or community center may need volunteers. Family members may appreciate a babysitter.
Home health care can help
Representatives from home health care agencies can provide more than nursing/caregiving services. Their visits can be an opportunity to brighten a patient’s day. Some therapeutic services such as massage or occupational therapy can also help remove pain and improve relaxation. Some agencies also offer transportation for errands or basic housekeeping, two useful services that may help snap someone out of an unhappy mood and feel better about life.
For more strategies on improving one’s mood and health, contact Accredited Home Care.