“There is always something to be grateful for. Pure love has no conditions or boundaries. And all of this is inside you,” says author Rhonda Byrne, whose motivational book The Secret became an international success in 2006. The book also explains that you can heal yourself from disease by feeling good, that you can attract love by loving yourself, and that gratitude can help pave the way for what you want in your life—these are all tools that influence whether or not you’re aging well.
When you’re practicing an anti-aging lifestyle and investing your efforts into aging well, it’s beneficial to have many tools in your metaphorical belt. Love and gratitude are pure emotions that can directly affect a positive mental attitude, and that optimistic mindset is important for aging well because it can enhance both physical and mental health.
You can eat all the organic fruits and vegetables you want, exercise every day, and follow every self-help book in the world, but without love and gratitude, there’s a good chance you’re going to find it harder to continue aging well as you get older. The love and gratitude you show yourself and others can even ultimately affect how long you live.
The Link Between Positivity and Aging Well
Practicing optimism can greatly affect your ability to master the art of aging well. Research has suggested that feeling and thinking positively reduces stress and improves your overall health and well-being. It can also improve your mental health and assist with managing depression. Click here to read more about the many links between optimism and aging well.
Positive affirmations are a useful anti-aging secret to help bring motivation to your life. Great examples include, “I am blessed with an abundance of energy!” and “Love, joy, and happiness flow through me with every heartbeat.” Through repetition, such mantras become part of your lifestyle, motivating you to continue working towards the ultimate goal of aging well, whether it’s by sticking to a more fruitful anti-aging diet or fitness routine. You will find that you are inspired to make healthier choices in your life based upon your sunny outlook, whereas people who see the glass half empty will often resort to making unhealthy lifestyle choices, which seriously impact their chances of aging well.
Love is Linked to Longevity
The relationship you have with yourself can directly affect the relationship you have with others, and healthy relationships are essential for aging well. You can practice self-love with how you treat yourself on a daily basis, such as treating your body well by eating healthy and exercising, and caring for your mind and soul by staying sharp and building on your knowledge. Some things that engage both your mind and body include yoga, meditation, and volunteer work.
When you love yourself, it can lead to a successful and happy love life, too, which actually has a significant impact on your ability to continue aging well because it affects your physical health. A University of Texas research study found that being in a relationship is linked to a reduced risk of a heart attack by decreasing the buildup of plaque in your arteries. Having loving conversations and social interactions with friends and family is also important for a long life. A 2011 Brigham Young University study showed that spending time with friends can cut the risk of death in half.
Gratitude is a Smarter Attitude for Aging Well
Showing gratitude for yourself and others has been linked to aging well because of its impact on improved sleep and overall health, as well as reduced anxiety and depression. You will also show more kindness to others, and are more likely to be happy with where you are in life.
If you’re concerned with aging well, an effective way to bring more gratitude into your life is to physically practice it. A gratitude journal is a great tool to help you become aware of what you are grateful for at each stage in your life. Writing a page a day will help you understand who you are on a mental level, self-reflect on the progress you’ve made thus far, and appreciate the positive things about your life.
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Murray, M.T., M.D., et al, The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine (New York: Atria Paperback, 2012), 34-35.
Ni, M., Dr., “Live Longer with Love in Your Life,” Yahoo! Health web site, February 14, 2011; http://health.yahoo.net/experts/drmao/live-longer-love-your-life.
Sanneh, K., “Power Lines: What’s behind Rhonda Byrne’s spiritual empire?” The New Yorker web site, September 13, 2010; http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/books/2010/09/13/100913crbo_books_sanneh.
Tierney, J., “A Serving of Gratitude May Save the Day,” The New York Times web site, November 21, 2011; http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/22/science/a-serving-of-gratitude-brings-healthy-dividends.html?_r=1&.