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Be good to yourself

Exercise and healthful eating might help keep you going, but successful aging is also a psychological feat. Studies show that loneliness can speed aging no matter how well you care for your body. People who maintain a network of social support do best. Companionship aside, healthy people seem to share a stress-hardy personality – an ability to manage stress and see change as a challenge in life.

Keep your sense of humor. A good laugh relaxes muscles, lowers blood pressure and reduces levels of hormones that create stress and suppress immunity. Research shows that facial expression can change a person's mood – and ultimately their outlook on life.

Here are some ideas for being good to yourself:

  • Get enough sleep.
  • Stay connected with family and friends.
  • Join a walking group, or other social group.
  • Surround yourself with people whose company you enjoy.
  • Volunteer or get active with groups in your community.
  • Try a part-time job at a place you would enjoy working for a few hours a week.
  • Watch a funny movie and laugh.
  • Take up a hobby such as playing cards, gardening, cooking, or dancing.

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