38°F
weather icon Clear

Attitude can change the way you age

You’re not getting any younger — and it makes you cantankerous.

Everything’s changed since you were a kid (when things were better). Life goes 110 miles an hour, you’ve got aches where you didn’t even know you had muscles, and you can never find your favorite anything anymore. Bah.

The thing is, you can’t go backwards. Those years just keep piling on top of one another, and in the new book “Up: How Positive Outlook Can Transform Our Health and Aging” by Hilary Tindle, M.D., M.P.H., you’ll see how your attitude can make every one of them better.

Let’s look on the bright side.

You’ve probably heard that sentiment several hundred times in your life; so much, perhaps, that it’s basically meaningless to you by now. Honestly, can turning a frown upside down really make a difference?

According to Hilary Tindle, it can. Attitude has “the potential to influence every facet of our health …” Doctors, for instance, have long known that positive patients are more likely to follow medical instructions, “seize opportunities,” and avoid sabotaging their own healing. In short, upbeat patients are easier to treat — which leads to less illness and longer lives.

Research further shows that quickness to anger can predict your likelihood for heart disease. That, and a snarly attitude, can also “predict risk factors that are known to cause major illnesses of aging” such as high blood pressure and diabetes. These factors, which can stem from a negative outlook on life, begin to manifest themselves as early as childhood and they can add up over the years.

To counteract a lifetime of sourpuss-ness, Tindle says that change is necessary (just about everybody needs some change) and definitely possible. Learn how to manage responses to problems, first of all. If you’re prone to descending into a “negative cycle,” know how to escape it. Don’t think you have to be sunshiny all the time; there are many “faces” of optimism. Acknowledge your accomplishments throughout every step of life, follow “typical” doctor advice, get in touch with nature now and then, and stop being so self-critical.

Then, buck up. Says Tindle, “… outlook can be one of our strongest allies in the aging process.”

It would be way too trite and simplistic to say that “Up” is a book about positivity. No, author, researcher, and self-proclaimed optimist Hilary Tindle offers cutting-edge information on why it’s never too late to seize change and seek a better outlook in order to reap the rewards of contented aging with fewer health issues.

Knowing that it’s not that easy, however, Tindle gives readers tips on altering one’s attitude, climbing out of the doldrums, and reaching for community as a bolster. I liked this book — though I think there’s a lot here that I’ve heard before — and I liked that its advice is mixed with real evidence.

Curmudgeons, crabs, and grumps beware: this book could change your outlook and, says the author, every little bit helps. So smile once in awhile and grab “Up”… because if you do, the sky’s the limit.

“Up: How Positive Outlook Can Transform Our Health and Aging” by Hilary Tindle, M.D., M.P.H. c.2013, Hudson Street Press $25.95 / $27.50 Canada 277 pages

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
How an injured and abandoned dog in Pahrump overcame the odds

A stray dog that was homeless, hospitalized and facing euthanasia earlier this month is now on the mend thanks to several in the community who helped raise thousands for its life-saving care.

End of an era: 50-year-old Beatty business closing

Owner Jane Cottonwood, who made ribbons, trophies and awards for organizations all over the country, plans to retire and close her shop at the end of February.

PHOTOS: How Pahrump helped dozens facing homelessness

Every three months, the Community Crisis Intervention Committee puts together the Homeless Wraparound, quarterly happenings geared specifically toward serving those experiencing homelessness in Pahrump.

PHOTOS: Wild horses come home for the holidays

The wild horse herds that were removed from the Pahrump Valley earlier this year are finally home, and just in time for Christmas. Here’s how the community came together and made it happen.

Community Christmas Dinner set for Dec. 23

Christmas is just around the corner and it’s all hands on deck for the Pahrump Holiday Task Force as the nonprofit prepares to celebrate the season with the entire community.

A night of cookies with Santa

This past Saturday, the valley was invited to enjoy some cookies with Santa and dozens of families turned out for an evening filled with festive fun.

Like Santa? Like Cookies? This PDOP event is for you

Pahrump Disability Outreach Program will be helping families get into the holiday spirit with an all-new, free community event: Cookies with Santa.