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Benefits of Positive Emotions in Old Age

Old age for many is the most depressing period of life. It is a phase which we prefer not to worry about all our lives until one fine day the signs of aging ring the alarm bells loud. But, researchers from the Cornell University have discovered that how we age plays a vital role in shaping the state of our health during the winter season of our lives.

The results of their study are published in the Current Directions in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science in January 2011.

The highlight of the research is that maintaining a positive outlook on life in early years can prove to be a potent remedy for stress, pain and illness in old age.

Knowledge Gained from Research on the Benefits of Positive Emotions:

  • The researchers learnt that positive people would develop a state of preparedness early in their lives.
  • They would exercise regularly and ensure that in spite of the work load in the prime of their careers, they get the recommended six-eight hours of sleep.
  • Unhealthy activities like consumption of alcohol, smoking and indulging in risky sexual activities are carefully avoided by these people.
  • The dividends of these positive steps are realized in later years of adulthood when the body becomes more prone to ailments.
  • Increasing number of research studies has shown the link between stress and several psychological and physical diseases.
  • An optimistic outlook on life leads to less release of chemicals associated with inflammation and undoing of the damage caused by stress related complications.
  • It was interesting to learn that despite significant amount of loss in physical conditions, the positive mental state of the individuals is retained with age.
  • The lead researchers of the study speculated that positive emotions in younger years lead to an extending and high quality of life in the later years.

Significance of the Research: The present study stresses the need for balancing the priorities of our life amidst the hectic present day lifestyle.

Ignoring factors which can ensure good health in later years and continuing to make bad choices related to well being might prove to be costlier than expected ever.

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