“Happiness Method” Slows Aging
Okay, I’ll admit it.
There have been times I’ve found it tough to maintain an optimistic outlook these last few years.
And I’m not alone. Studies show that unhappiness and loneliness are on the rise.
That’s TERRIBLE news for our health. Because when you combine the two, it can deliver a devastating blow to your whole body, especially your brain and heart.
And you, yes YOU, dear reader, are at risk. Especially if you‘re a senior and retired.
People often become less happy and more isolated as they grow older.
So, how bad IS it?
Let’s just say this miserable combo causes your health to decline FASTER than one of the WORST bad habits you can think of.
According to a new study published in the journal Aging, the combined effects of feeling alone and unhappy are WORSE than smoking a pack of cigarettes A DAY!
Put simply, it can physically damage our bodies in ways that are worse than a habit the CDC says causes cancer, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
It’s because feeling of loneliness and unhappiness hit the fast-forward button on aging.
And it’s easy to see why. After all, when you’re depressed, it’s easy to let self-care slip.
You’re less likely to exercise. You’re more likely to eat poorly. Sleep quality plummets, and anxiety levels soar. It’s a virtual formula for accelerated aging AND poor health.
But there’s a secret to happiness that no one ever tells you. It’s NOT something that just happens. You literally have to PRACTICE it.
I’m not blowing smoke here. No one can have a rosy outlook all the time. But if you want to be less lonely and more connected to people, you have to work at it.
Like an underused muscle, when you work at being happy, it can feel hard to do at first. But eventually, you’ll build up that happiness muscle, and it becomes effortless.
Here are some hints that can help you do just that:
- Connect with your people: Some folks call this “finding your tribe.” There are others a lot like you out in the world: maybe they love old cars, knitting, fishing, or collecting buttons. Find those folks and start sharing your passion. You can look online and check the bulletin board at your local library, senior center, or church. Or strike up a conversation with your neighbors.
- Do meaningful things: Choose an activity that has value and meaning to you and do it. You could volunteer at your church, a soup kitchen, a local school, or a nearby hospital. Or perhaps do something that allows you to “makes your mark” on this world, like writing a book or planting a garden. It might even be traveling that holds special value for you. It counts as long as the activity feels important and meaningful to YOU.
- Be compassionate: Practice being compassionate towards others and (harder still) towards YOURSELF. Kindness is powerful and healing, so go ahead and spread it around. You and others deserve a break sometimes.
- Be optimistic: It’s easy to see the bad side of things. Try to find the silver linings whenever possible. Banish negativity.
- Nurture yourself: It’s hard to put on a happy face and be social when you’re feeling down in the dumps and not eating and sleeping well. Taking care of yourself even when you don’t feel like it can help turn things around.
I call this the “fake ‘til you make it” method. When you practice happiness every day, eventually, it turns into a habit.
P.S. Looking for more ways to banish the blues naturally? Click here to find out how this strange grape can help.
“Psychological factors substantially contribute to biological aging: evidence from the aging rate in Chinese older adults.” Aging (Albany NY). 2022 Sep 27; 14:7206-7222. https://doi.org/10.18632/aging.204264
Written By Dr. Scott Olson, ND
Nearly 25 years ago, failed mainstream medical treatments left Dr. Olson in constant pain – and his health in ruins. And that’s when he did something REVOLUTIONARY. He began his career in medicine – and dedicated his life to uncovering the true, underlying causes of disease.
Through his innovative medical practices in Tennessee and Colorado, Dr. Olson has helped cure countless seniors from across America of arthritis… heart disease… diabetes… and even cancer. All without risky prescription drugs or painful surgeries.
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