Mental Resilience and Longevity
“Mental resilience connotes the ability to adapt positively to adversity.”
You may like to check out the section of my website dedicated to resilience here.
Your ability to adapt to change is based upon the flexibility and capability of your mental resilience. In a study looking to find the relationship between old age and mental resilience, there was found to be a strong correlation. Centenarians were found to be significantly more resilient than any other age group of the elders. So apart from simply longevity, what else do we stand to gain by improving our mental resilience?
Resilience is generally positively correlated with:
- Cognitive function
- Physical health
- Self-reported health among the elderly
- Self-rated successful aging in developed countries
Not bad if you ask me! So how can we learn from these Centenarians?
Improving Mental Resilience
- Build strong relationships / Be part of a community.
- Learn how to ask for help, and practice it often.
- Have a purpose beyond yourself.
- Stay useful as you age, but know that you still have value either way.
- Stay active.
- Look on the bright side of things.
- Do not isolate yourself.
As you can see, most of these points occur in relationship to other people. Our strength as humans comes from our connection with others, not from our ability to act without them. It seems we cannot have good mental resilience without strong connections and people around us who we trust deeply.
Past simply our connections with others however, is our ability to see the bright side of things, not worry, and stay active. The beautiful thing is that all of these points do not require excess amounts of money or much else. They are core parts of the human experience that these centenarians seem to have nailed down and carried forward into their old age.
If you are trying to improve your mental resilience, know that if you want it to be the best it can be, you cannot do it alone. You need people who love you, and who you can love. People who can listen to you and help you solve your problems, rather than trying to solve everything alone. We humans are communal at our core, we are not stronger together simply because there are more of us, we very much literally bring out the best in each other on a biological and mental resiliency level.