The old saying "You're only as old as you feel" has new life, backed up by a new study.
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Researchers found older people with positive views on aging were 44% more likely to recover fully after severe disability than those with negative views on aging.
People with positive attitudes about aging also had a slower decline in their ability to do daily tasks such as dressing and bathing.
"It may be something worth considering that might help people's recovery," says researcher Becca Levy, PhD, associate professor at the Yale School of Public Health.
Upside to a Positive Attitude
Until now, experts say, most of the research on attitudes about aging and health has looked at the health risks and losses linked to a negative outlook.
But this study suggests there may be tangible health benefits to having a more positive view about aging.
"It's not just about reducing the losses associated with aging, but also about making gains in one's health or disability status and regaining what might have been lost," says Tara L. Stewart, PhD, assistant professor of psychology at Idaho State University.
"These people with positive stereotypes about aging experienced health gains and better recovery, not just a reduction of health losses," Stewart says.
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SOURCE: WebMD Health News