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Alzheimer’s – A Positive Attitude Can Overcome a Bad Heredity

Studies have shown that negative expectations for aging shorten life and deplete life quality. If people expect to be depressed and desolate, they not only fulfill those expectations, they also experience greater physical debilitation. On the other hand satisfaction with life, work and marriage were found to extend life. In other words: Belief is biology! At the Mayo clinic, Dr. Maruta’s comparative study of pessimists and optimists concluded: "It confirmed our common-sense belief that mind and body are linked and that attitude has an impact on the final outcome - death."

Perception of aging is likely to impact how long one lives. The August 2002 issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology reports that older individuals who viewed aging in a positive light lived 7.5 years longer than those who had a negative view of aging. This brings us to Alzheimer’s…

Many of us fear our heredity. If a parent had diabetes, we believe that we will also contract the disease. If a parent had a heart attack, or osteoarthritis, we are often convinced that we will suffer the same. Similarly with Alzheimer’s disease, if a parent has it, then we fear that we will eventually suffer from dementia too. However, as these studies show, we need to be positive about our aging. We should not look for trouble so to speak - if we convince ourselves emotionally and intellectually that we will contract a specific disease - then ironically we will actualize that wish physically! We will fulfill our own prophecy. Stress and negative thinking have been linked to every major disease, Alzheimer’s included! In my book Turn On Your Inner Light the chapter, Training for the Times When You Live a Life of Quiet Desperation advises: "the most enduring and powerful light is your inner light which never dims even amidst total darkness. Because we are used to being bombarded by many stimulating sensory perceptions, we find it difficult to see or distinguish our true light from the extraneous fireworks. When we retrieve our inner light, we feel immediate relief. A new perspective, a simpler, more basic direct outlook on life can take shape..."

Therefore, we need to activate our joy and aim for a positive outlook as we get older. Even though we live in a youth oriented society, we need to take back our power! With the multitude of aging baby boomers who always stood at the forefront of change arriving on the scene, this goal should not be too hard to achieve.

The most efficient, healthy, natural and positive way to circulate happy, health-giving energy is through exercise. Just a few minutes every day can extend your life and its quality. If you knew that a sedentary lifestyle carried a death sentence for both mind and body, wouldn’t you get off the couch and exercise?

Ease on down the road of life. Don’t swim against the current…Find a workout that suits you on land or water and stick with it. You will be glad that you did!

Debbie Mandel, MA is the author of Turn On Your Inner Light: Fitness for Body, Mind and Soul, a stress-reduction specialist, motivational speaker, a personal trainer and mind/body lecturer at Southampton College. She is the host of the weekly Turn On Your Inner Light Show on WLIE 540AM in New York City , produces a weekly wellness newsletter, and has been featured on radio/ TV and print media. To learn more visit: www.turnonyourinnerlight.com

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