We all know people who are either excessively younger or older than their years. Do their general moods and personalities differ from those of other people? It goes without saying, if you’ve been overweight and/or smoked or been stressed most of your life, your longevity will significantly be affected as you age. In addition, several studies going back to the 1920’s show that other non-lifestyle factors may significantly affect how long some people live. See if you agree that the following four traits can lengthen the lives of older people.
Spending a chunk of time with others, which includes positive emotions, loving feelings and stimulating interactions, and reduces negative feelings of isolation, can reduce stress, inflammation and cardiovascular disease. Belonging to a book club or meeting friends for lunch or to play cards, for instance, brings meaning into our lives, especially after retirement.
While I automatically assume that volunteer work would be good for the mind, body and spirit, I heard from one source that it’s the motivation for volunteering that dictates whether your volunteer work helping others will increase longevity or not. Evidently, longevity is not enhanced if your seva is for self-oriented reasons such as boosting your own ego or for gaining work experience.
Like the labyrinth, there may be a maze of paths that get us to the end. What do you believe? Even if you don’t agree that these things increase longevity for sure, at the very least they make for a more pleasant person to be around while we’re among the living.
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