Ever wonder why some people live to 90 or 100 with grace and joy? Good genes certainly help, but an optimistic spirit and a sense of purpose may matter even more. A 2011 review in Applied Psychology: Well Being of 160 published studies confirmed a compelling connection between a positive state of mind and overall health and longevity.
Integrative medicine focuses on this mind-body connection as the cornerstone of total wellness. “Wellness looks at the context of your life,” says Tak Poon, M.D., a cardiologist with the Palo Alto Medical Foundation. It spans “not just physical health, but work, attitudes, creative outlets and especially relationships of all kinds.”
Integrative physicians believe that your mental state, particularly a sense of purpose, affects lifespan. In a 2014 study in Psychological Science, researchers found that setting goals and taking action to achieve them lead to healthier lifestyle choices and ultimately a longer life. “My healthiest patients, a good number of them in their 90s and 100s, enjoy people or a hobby, actively learn new things and have a positive engagement with life,” Dr. Poon says.
The following seven tips, Dr. Poon believes, play a big role in ensuring health, happiness and longevity. Practice these vitality-boosting habits regularly to help you age gracefully.