Display until March 24, 2015
The Neatest Little Paper Ever Read ®
By Ron Ross
“I’m 86, and that good-looking lady standing next to me is 84,” a gentleman bragged to me. “We’ve been married 63 years, and we plan to live long enough to celebrate our 70th wedding anniversary.” The couple grinned like two newlyweds that had just been pronounced husband and wife.
While they both moved slowly and the “good-looking lady” standing next to him was wrinkled and bent over, they both were bright, articulate and smiled and laughed with ease.
Do you think their positive attitude and their sense of humor helped them stay active, mobile, and alive? Researchers think so. They found that among older people, optimists have a 77% lower risk of heart disease than pessimists. Why? They think it’s because optimists believe they can solve the problems they face, or “negotiate life’s stressors without becoming irritated.”
The researchers found that an optimistic attitude about growing old will keep you alive on an average of 7.5 years longer than a pessimistic mindset. Smile, laugh and look hopefully at each day and you will enjoy a lower heart rate, deal with stress better, and have a physical and emotional vitality that nourishes both body and soul.
Here’s another benefit of cheerfulness: happy people are less likely to get sick, but if they do they tend to recover quicker.
Optimism and a sense of humor make all of life better. When you’re optimistic you are excited about life, you have a sense of meaning and purpose, and you do more than endure life, you celebrate it every day.
From personal experience, I can tell you it’s not easy to stay positive and to maintain a happy spirit. As I grow older, my feet hurt, my eyes weaken, and my reflexes decelerate. Not only that, I worry about my grandchildren, miss my wife, and fret about the future. Sometimes I have to work hard just to smile or think good thoughts. I can be grumpy with ease.
But I hate it when I’m grumpy. My spirit sours, my brow furrows, and my lousy attitude affects the people around me. When I whine and complain, I get fewer perks, have fewer friends, and willingly increase my own misery. How stupid is that? Who wants that? Not me. Not you.
Understand this: there are no emotional, physical or relational benefits to being gloomy, but a bundle of benefits for being blissful. Simply put, happy people, people who continue to laugh, love, and learn no matter how difficult daily life is, will live longer than those who hibernate, bellyache, and stagnate.
I hope that happy couple makes it to their 70th wedding anniversary; they deserve it. So do you. Start today to laugh a little more at the stressors of life and in the process, add a few years to your life.
Remember Bobby McFerrin’s song from the late 1980s?
Here’s a little song I wrote – You might want to sing it note for note.
Don’t worry, be happy.
In every life we have some trouble – But when you worry you make it double.
Don’t worry, be happy.
©2018 Dr. Ronald D. S. Ross
©2014 Ronald D. Rosss
To read all of Dr. Ross’ columns visit RonRossToday.com. Subscribe to his weekly newsletter and receive your free copy of Acquire Confidence, a compilation of Acquire Confidence columns.