We know that eating right and exercising keeps our body healthy. So can positive thinking! Positivity can produce actual physiological influences in our bodies. This is especially true for Senior Citizens. Engaging in a positive mindset can lead to longer, healthier lives, which is exactly what we want for our aging loved ones. Positive emotions lead to the release of chemical signals in the brain, which can, in turn, affect overall well-being. Plus, optimism lets you cope better with stressful situations, which reduces the harmful health effects of stress on the body.
Endorphins in the Brain
Research conducted in the 1970s revealed a connection between the brain and the body. For example, Neuroscientist Candace Pert learned that cells receive chemicals that influence mood, the perception of pain, and our ability to heal. She discovered the opiate receptor, the cellular binding site for endorphins in the brain.
Endorphins are hormones that are released during activities such as deep breathing, meditation, yoga, exercise, music, praying, or positive thinking. Endorphins (like their synthetic counterpart morphine) help relieve pain and induce feelings of pleasure or euphoria. When endorphins fill these opiate receptors, they block viruses from gaining access to our cells. This leads to better overall health and fewer illnesses.
Many psychological studies have been conducted regarding the effectiveness of optimism as a form of positive thinking. Research has linked positive expectations regarding the future to lower risks of mood disorders as well as physical illness. Evidence shows that optimistic people tend to have a higher quality of life. Optimism affects mental and physical well-being by promoting a healthy lifestyle.
When our elderly loved ones have an optimistic outlook, their quality of life tends to improve. By choosing positive vocabulary and framing situations in the best possible light, you can create a positive mindset that gives hope for the future.