You Are What You Think

August 15th, 2017 | Advice4Life, Successful Women

An optimistic outlook can enhance your health,
your work and your daily life.

Research shows that 90% of happiness is determined by our mindset, meaning only 10% is affected by external factors – be that a job, finances or health. It might be hard to believe, but happiness and contentment have as much to do with how we perceive life as anything else.


For our parents, reaching those middle and senior ages may have meant a significant change in lifestyle – stepping back from their career and decreasing physical activity – but current and future generations know more about staying healthy, and recognize that new endeavors can happen at any age. According to a recent study by researchers from Yale University and University of California, Berkeley, we are only as old as we think we are. Participants who were exposed to positive ideas and associations with aging – such as words like “wise” and “spry” – were found to have a greater improvement in their physical health than participants of a similar study that involved six months of prescribed exercise.

Other research suggests that in many ways our brains improve with age. As we accumulate experiences, our innovation and creativity are boosted, and with more life experience also come greater maturity and awareness.


We often mistakenly think that by first reaching our goals, we then can find happiness, but research shows that the opposite is true. When MET Life found that its happier salespeople produced greater results, they started hiring more optimistic candidates over those with higher intelligence or more experience. In the first year, the happier salespeople outsold their colleagues by 19%. In the second year, it was 57%.


When we think of what might make us happiest, lofty ideas come to mind. However, in a study by The Journal of Consumer Research, participants were asked to recall enjoyable experiences, which included ordinary things, such as a good meal or visit with family, and extraordinary things, such as exotic vacations. The older the participant, the more joy they experienced from ordinary pleasures.

Whether you are still saving for retirement or already in it, this is a great reminder that regardless of age or budget, your lifestyle and well-being can be as good as you believe them to be.

Sources: Huffington Post,, Business Insider,,,,

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