“Humans think happiness is this one thing: You’re either happy or you’re not,” Jennifer Aaker says. Of course, it’s not so simple: New research conducted by Aaker and her colleagues not only challenges the assumption that happiness is binary but also finds that the relationship between happiness and our sense of meaning can change depending on our financial situation.
Research shows that a positive attitude to ageing can lead to a longer, healthier life, while negative beliefs can have hugely detrimental effects. Behaviour is undoubtedly important. If you associate age with frailty and disability, you may be less likely to exercise as you get older and that lack of activity is certainly going to increase your predisposition to many illnesses, including heart disease and Alzheimer’s. Importantly, however, our age beliefs can also have a direct effect on our physiology. Elderly people who have been primed with negative age stereotypes tend to have higher systolic blood pressure in response to challenges, while those who have seen positive stereotypes demonstrate a more muted reaction. This makes sense: if you believe that you are frail and helpless, small difficulties will start to feel more threatening. Over the long term, this heightened stress response increases levels of the hormone cortisol and bodily inflammation, which could both raise the risk of ill health.
A diet that includes approximately half a tablespoon of olive oil daily may cut risk for CV death and all-cause death by 19%, according to research published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
If you’ve ever seen Bernadette Henry jump rope, as she often does around New York City, it’s hard to believe she ever does anything else. As the swings of her rope blur into a multi-curved arc, she hops, skips and jumps in a quick, ever-changing pattern, two separate rhythms stitched into a complex and dizzying dance.