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Look on the bright side: Optimistic people live longer

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There is a good reason to start the New Year believing that the champagne glass is half full: It could add years to your life.

Two recent studies from the National Institutes of Health report that both men and women who take a more optimistic view live longer. In fact, they live four years longer on average than those with a negative outlook. One study found that women who are the most optimistic were also more likely to live over age 90.

This may be true because optimistic people also engage in healthier lifestyles, which may add a protective layer against stress. People who have a positive outlook tend not to let stress affect them as much, since they believe that things will eventually work out. Researchers found that optimistic men also experienced fewer negative emotions and that optimism may cause older adults to avoid or change how they think about stressful situations.

So, as we begin 2023, try to change your outlook and be cheerful. Not only will it improve your quality of life, but it could also lengthen it.

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For those who have been struggling to find balance and a return to normalcy, 2023 could be the year to bounce back. Here are some ideas to get the ball rolling.

Practice mindfulness. Being present in the moment can help you enjoy life more. Don’t ruminate on the past or worry about the future. Focus on the here and now.

Find ways to ease stress and anxiety. This could include finding a new hobby, exercising, or getting out and socializing more often. Being in the company of others is a good way to forget things that may be bothering you.

Consider therapy. Relying on the support of friends and family will only get you so far if you are experiencing a mental health issue. Talking to a trained therapist is an investment in yourself and can help you get back on the right path.

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Cultivate a better sleep routine. Sleep is key to improving just about every facet of your life, so make sure you get your eight hours a night. Going to bed at the same time each night can help you stay on track.

Drink less alcohol and eliminate substance use. The numbers of people struggling with addiction rose during the pandemic, but they are starting to decline. Recent trends are moving in the direction of focusing on physical and mental health.

Find opportunities to volunteer. Dedicating your time to a worthwhile cause and helping others can help lower your own stress and make you feel good about yourself.

Spend time journaling. Writing down your thoughts and feelings is a simple way to help you process your emotions and help you deal with problems.

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Spend more time outside. Even in cold temperatures, taking a walk in the sunshine can do wonders for your mood.

If you are concerned about someone’s mental health, know that treatment is available. Wyoming Behavioral Institute offers inpatient care for children, adolescents and adults, TMS outpatient depression treatment for adults, residential treatment for girls, and outpatient teletherapy for adolescents. Call us today at 800-457-9312 or visit wbihelp.com to learn more.

PAID FOR BY WYOMING BEHAVIORAL INSTITUTE
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