Happiness is sometimes difficult to achieve and maintain, but when you’re happy, you are also boosting your brain power and cognitive health. Being happy is a combination of your mood and outlook. The better mood you’re in and the rosier outlook you have, will boost your memory and decision making ability.
Published scientific research shows that your mental well-being affects your ability to reason, cope with challenges, and even avoid or mitigate onset dementia in your senior years.
Statistics show that while 96 percent of adults believe managing stress is important, only 43 percent are able to manage it effectively.
Scientific studies also show that anxiety and depression are linked to cognitive decline, and that happiness can help you manage stress and prevent mental decline as you age.
Happiness: What Are The Ingredients?
The key ingredient is attitude. A positive attitude can get you more than 50% towards your happy state. And attitude is comprised of self-acceptance, vitality, positive relationships, and a sense of purpose.
Indeed, senior citizens may have some advantages in this regard, as life experiences can improve mental health and self-confidence.
Physicians and health care providers offer several recommendations to help improve your mood and outlook. For seniors taking multiple medications, it is very important to monitor them and be aware of side affects. Medications can interact and amplify problems such as irregular sleep, anxiety, and depression. It’s important to have an open line to your doctor so that dosages can be adjusted or medicines changed.
Happiness: Lifestyle Plays A Big Role
Mental health depends to a large extent on leading a healthy lifestyle. Here are some suggestions that have been proven to boost mental health and reduce stress:
1. Be sociable. Surveys show that engaging in activities with a group is great for your mental well-being. Isolation will depress you.
2. Get enough sleep. Sleep deprivation can result in a host of bad things such as mood disorders, depression, heightened anxiety, and poor diet. Keep a regular sleep schedule.
3. Eat healthy and maintain a balanced diet. Eat different fruits, vegetables and healthy proteins.
The 2018 AARP survey found that men and women age 50 and over who reported eating more nutritious and well-balanced meals also had higher mental well-being scores than those who said they rarely ate nutritious meals.
4. Exercise, exercise, exercise. You don’t need fancy, expensive equipment. Just a good pair of walking shoes will do fine. Set up a schedule to walk at least three times a week, 30-45 minutes each session. Watch as your mood elevates, and your stress levels decline. If you can find a walking partner, that’s even better.
5. Stop smoking!