At times we feel overwhelmed by circumstances, including current physical, mental, financial and family challenges. Feeling overwhelmed can also be a product of the world around us – including the pandemic, distance from loved ones, changes to work situations, concerns over politics and anxiety over aged care and other looming social upheavals.
In developing the SHAPE Analyser, one surprise was the increasing amount of research on how we frame the future in respect of key elements of our lives and come to terms with our circumstances and longevity.
We grouped this research under Attitude, a SHAPE Analyser section accessible in the new Knowledge library for Subscribers. You can review concepts like Mindset, Resilience and Stress and how to benefit from this knowledge in moving forward.
Optimists believe that the future will be favorable because they can control important outcomes. There is a growing amount of research that confirms that optimists are less likely to suffer from chronic diseases and die prematurely.
A recent US study further suggested that optimism appears to be specifically related to a longer life span, on average, and to greater odds of achieving “exceptional longevity,” that is, living to 85 or beyond. In the study, this outcome was independent of socioeconomic status, health conditions, depression, social integration, and health behaviors (e.g., smoking, diet, and alcohol use).
When things are difficult, it’s challenging to move forward. A recent paper reviewed how an attitude of gratitude could integrate how we see our past and present to underpin a more positive sense of the future.
Japan is well known for the longevity of its population. In Japan, gratitude is a common expression of how much one relies on others for support throughout life. A social network providing mutual support provides a sense of security and confidence that ‘things will work out'.
Relying on and engaging with others is also regularly found in other countries to be a positive factor in sustaining a rewarding approach to longevity.
We are each different, increasingly so as we age. We are likely to find differing perspectives are more productive for some than others in maintaining a positive outlook. Your Longevity Plan helps to quantify and focus on the opportunities and challenges.
A constructive attitude - including optimism and gratitude - can enhance your journey and keep you keeping on.