Lu Parker | If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.
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If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

I recently heard many people who live to be 100 years old have something in common.  Can you guess what it is?  Yes, a good diet.  Yes, they exercise.  Yes, they may have good genes, but when interviewed, the majority of the men and women also shared something else.  They all feel finding and keeping a positive outlook in life is key to their longevity!

I was not surprised by this in the least.  I have always known deep in my heart that practicing happiness and keeping a positive attitude can shift your being even during difficult times.  As a former high school teacher, I would always ask my students, “Who is more fun to hang out with? – Negative or positive people?”  We know the answer.  While I understand it is not easy to always have a cheery outlook about everything, it is possible to find the positive in every situation.  

Trust me when I say, I struggle to find the positive sometimes during tough times, but I eventually always do.  It takes work, but being negative and finding the yuckiness of a situation takes just as much work.  

Check out a portion of this article written by Lynn Peters Adler

1. A Positive Attitude Trudi Fletcher of Tubac, Ariz., a lifelong artist, remains an innovative painter at 100 and recently had a gallery exhibition showing off her new style. She credits her creative longevity to “attitude, attitude, attitude.” Almost all of the centenarians we spoke to believe a positive yet realistic attitude is critical throughout one’s life and described themselves as optimistic people.

2. Diet Here’s diet advice you may not have heard before: Eat like it’s 1960. Our centenarians were critical of today’s super-sized portions; the majority advised just eating nutritious food in moderation. Only 20 percent said they had ever been on a specialized diet plan, although some had become vegetarians. Lillian Cox, 107, of Tallahassee, Fla., confided that in her 50s she became “quite heavy” but resolved to lose the weight, did so and kept it off by just eating less. The stylish former dress shop owner says, “I was a good advertisement for the merchandise I selected on my frequent buying trips to New York.”

3. Exercise “Move it or lose it,” says Louise Caulder, 101. “I don’t leave my bedroom before doing 30 minutes of stretches. Later, I walk a mile. Three times a week I play bridge. You’ve got to exercise your mind as well as your body — everyone knows that, but I wonder how many are actually doing it.” A few centenarians who successfully maintained their athleticism or gained new skills in later years have competed in the Senior Games. “I always thought of myself as an ordinary guy, but once I was in my 90s, I looked around and realized I was the oldest one at the lanes and I could still keep up my score,” says bowler George Blevins, 100. “So I entered the Senior Games and have enjoyed winning several medals, even at 100.”

Joe Meyser, 102, took up golf at 70, got pretty good and began competing in the Senior Games himself. “I drove to wherever they were holding them that year in my camper,” he says. “It was fun. I gave up the camper when I was 97, but won a gold medal at 100.”

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