There are many metaphors to describe how to add more life to our years– a well-maintained car continues to “fire on all cylinders” for a long time; athletic teams need strong players in each of the positions to be competitive; and a garden needs sunlight, water, good soil, diversity, and care to grow and produce fruit. In the same way, we need to attend to multiple dimensions of our lives to get the most out of our time on this planet. Our model at Age is an Attitude is based on the wisdom of many experts. We help provide a framework of how to incorporate changes to improve the quality of our "second or third act" and contribute to a healthy, engaged longer life.
Our framework incorporates 6 elements:
You get to choose the behaviors that will add more active years to your life. Study after study shows that if you exercise regularly, consume less food, eat a primarily plant-based diet, drink red wine in moderation, manage negative stress, sleep well, and move more, you will change the curve of your life experience.
Studies prove that longevity is enhanced both by having habits of meditation or centering prayer, and by participation in a spiritually based community. The relational part of it is vital to our well-being as social animals. The internal opportunity for the peace attained with access to the spiritual dimension is transformative.
Neuroplasticity is widely studied now and proves that we can exercise our brain just as we exercise our bodies and that by doing so we will lengthen its healthy life. Physical exercise is vital to keep the structure functioning well. Choosing to exercise your brain by learning new things, changing habits, stimulating your senses in new ways, practicing meditation, and incorporating new brain challenges are proven to reduce the likelihood that you will develop dementia and other types of cognitive decline as you age.
Emotional intelligence is a popular term in today’s world and is a way of describing your “left brain” ability to relate well. It includes four dimensions; self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and social management. Understanding and managing your emotions enables you to choose happiness purposely. Barbara Fredrickson had proven that positivity ratios matter in our own emotional experiences–choosing to experience joy, gratitude, serenity, interest, hope, pride, amusement, inspiration, awe, and love regularly WILL add years to our life–AND to happiness and peace to our years!
We all need to have a reason to get up every morning. Having clarity about what we value most and where our strengths are will empower us to apply them and achieve “flow” (term identified by research scientist Mihaly Csikszentmihaly). The people who live the longest and with the most joy are those who feel a sense of purpose and commitment each day and never lose it. What we value and what we define as our purpose doesn’t matter. What matters is that we have the clarity and conviction.
The “father” of the science of Positive Psychology, Marin Seligman, uses the acronym PERMA to describe a formula for happiness that includes positive emotion, engagement, relationships, meaning, and accomplishment. The complexion of the relationships changes over time. Consistently choosing to nurture resonant relationships and pursue new connections with people of diverse ages, identities, and perspectives will consistently nourish us and support us in our growth.