For too long the mystery, fear and trepidation surrounding the elder years have kept us from maintaining meaningful relationships. Let’s start a movement to reframe our misguided perceptions and let the elder years be a time of continued living, not a time of waiting to die!
Connection. Some family members have a hard time accepting that their elder relatives are not the “same” as they used to be, and hang on to that outdated vision of how they were. Relating during this new developmental phase requires a specific skill set for strengthening connections. This can help family members feel less guilt and angst, allowing them to carry on in their lives, functioning at a higher and more contented level while tending to the needs of their elders.
Keeping the collective vibrational energy high. Science is showing us how the energy we emit through our thoughts effects the universe. High vibrational energy creates more positive results for mankind.
(David R. Hawkins researched: A person who calibrates at the 300 level will counterbalance 90,000 individuals who calibrate below the 200 level. Or a person who calibrates at the 500 level will counterbalance 750,000 individuals who calibrate below the 200 level. Therefore, the higher you can build your energy frequency level, the more beneficial you become to the world at large.)
Increase the quality of existence in elder years. Family members can feel better about the care their elder relatives receive, and the elders can have an overall sense of well being as they navigate this new developmental stage.
Health related problems decrease when people are happier
In one study from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston researchers decided to assess signs of depression, or what they called negative effect separately from signs of emotional well-being, or as they termed it positive effect.
What they found was that older people who are happy or have “high levels of positive affect” seem to have some protection against stroke. Those elders, who often feel blue – “individuals with high levels of depressive symptoms”, tend to have more strokes than older adults who aren’t depressed. Happiness appears to have a protective effect when it comes to health.
During the study over 4000 subjects, men and women, a mix of black and white were evaluated for positive or negative affect by answering yes or no to 20 statements made by the interviewers. Sixteen of the statements suggested negative emotions or experiences such as “I could not shake off the blues”, “I had crying spells” or “People were unfriendly”. The four positive statements that indicated a positive attitude were “I felt that I was just as good as other people”; “I felt hopeful about the future”; “I was happy”; and “I enjoyed life”. Those study participants who answered yes to the positive statements had a showed decreased risk of stroke over the six years of the study, with the results being dramatically increased for the men who participated in the study.
Why the difference? Is happiness a magic potion that keeps blood pressure down and arteries clear? Does a smile on your face ward off evil spirits? Is there a way to bottle happiness? No, that is not likely. What is more likely is that being unhappy leads to following an unhealthy lifestyle.
Another study done at the University of Pittsburgh indicated the a women who are depressed and angry are more likely to have hardening of the arteries or arteriosclerosis, and are also more likely to have a lifestyle that leads to arteriosclerosis. The behavior risk factors for arteriosclerosis included smoking, poor physical fitness and lower levels of good cholesterol with higher levels of bad cholesterol. This study finds that those participants in the study showing the most depressive symptoms were also two and one half times more likely to partake of those behaviors that place a person at higher risk for arteriosclerosis and heart disease. This can lead to premature death or disability.
These findings serve to emphasize the need for not only physical assessment of risk for disease but of psychological risk of disease. Physicians should not only ask about eating habits and activity but should evaluate emotional attitude. And the way we can contribute to a positive emotional attitude is by understanding this developmental stage and discover ways to celebrate its arrival!