Senior Lifestyles: Your attitude is your altitude

Published 8:00 am Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Years ago, I heard a motivational speaker use the phrase that “Your attitude is your altitude.”

I’ve always believed that life can be a lot easier and more fun if you approach it with a positive attitude. Looking at what happens to us, both good and bad, seems to work out better if you approach everything with the attitude that the glass is half empty.

It turns out that striving for happiness and wearing a smile, even in tough times, is good for more than just your physical health — it impacts your brain as well. A recent study done by Yale University found that, “…keeping a good attitude about life can even reduce [the] risk of dementia.”

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

In that study of 4,765 people whose average age was 72, even those who were genetically predisposed with a genetic link to dementia were 50 percent less likely to develop the mental disorder than people who were pessimistic or fearful of aging. That’s an impressive statistic!

The results of that study serves as a reminder that people who strive for joy and happiness can lead healthier, more fulfilling lives. Here are some suggestions to help you live life more optimistically:

Surround yourself with positive people 

Positive people help you sustain your outlook on life, while negative people can drain your energy and diminish your happiness factor.

Limit complaining 

It doesn’t matter if it’s the weather or a traffic jam, the truth of the matter remains, it is what it is.  Complaining doesn’t help, and it won’t fix things.

It takes too much energy, and often makes you even more difficult to be around. Sure, some days or situations are far less than ideal, but it is what it is, so don’t throw a pity party that lasts for more than a minute and just deal with it.

Establish a positive morning routine

Some of us jump out of bed and welcome the day — others, well, not so much. But what you do first thing in the morning actually has a great deal to do with setting the tone for the rest of your day.

Whatever makes you feel good upon waking, whether it’s a cup of coffee, walking the dog, going out to exercise or having a positive conversation with your significant other, the concept of getting up on the bright side of bed makes a difference.


If you’re ever read Reader’s Digest, you no doubt recall the segment called “Laughter is the Best Medicine.”

Laughing can be good for you, and can also be very contagious. People love to be around happy, funny and positive people. It’s contagious, and sets off some nice chemistry in your brain that makes you feel good.

Be proactive 

We all have choices. We can allow our hours and days to be controlled, or we can set our own goals and control our days and weeks. 

Of course, things get interrupted with surprises and unexpected events at work and in our daily schedules. By having a plan, setting and achieving priorities, it is much easier to get through your days with a positive outlook.

Making positive thinking a habit doesn’t mean there won’t be some challenging days, but it helps to keep to you balanced and centered, and certainly makes you a lot more fun, as a person, mate or friend, to be around.

Ron Kauffman is a consultant and expert speaker on issues of aging. His wife’s geriatric management practice serves clients in Henderson, Polk and Brevard counties. He is the author of “Caring for a Loved One with Alzheimer’s Disease,” available as a Kindle book on He and his wife may be contacted at 828-696-9799 or by email at