Keeping Residents Happy May Keep Them Healthy

It’s amazing what a difference a positive mindset can have on older adults’ resilience and well-being. I recently heard from a woman who is struggling with pain and loss of mobility due to knee problems. Instead of dwelling on the negative changes in her life and difficulties associated with rehab, she focuses on how good it will be to be able to return to activities that she used to enjoy, such as biking and simply moving more easily. She draws strength by thinking about other obstacles she has been able to successfully overcome. This positive mindset gives her a hopeful view of the future and her ability to recovery from knee replacement surgery.

This woman increased her mood and optimism by savoring positive experiences — she savored imagining how much her life will improve once the surgery and rehab is complete, and she savored through inspiration from times when she responded resiliently in the past. Savoring is about drawing the most enjoyment and meaning from positive experiences in our lives; it is the ability to be aware of positive experiences and harness our appreciation of those experiences to enhance our positive feelings.

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