Have a positive mindset

ways to live foreverA willingness to take the good with the bad and accept life's misfortunes with grace is a common trait among the very old. When things go wrong, you may be justified in having negative feelings, but dark thoughts won't extend your lifespan.

"There is some evidence that suggests that psychological mindsets are more important than any other thing in how long you live and how healthy you will be," says Dennis Kravetz, a psychologist in Scottsdale, Ariz., who studies longevity. "Individual studies have correlated attitude with incidence of cancer and cardiovascular disease."

Sometimes people wrongly think that having a positive attitude means always wearing a smile. "It's really how you feel about the future," he adds. "Are you optimistic?"

A life insurance policy can provide some peace of mind, but many seniors have health and financial problems that grow over time. It's important not to be consumed by worry as you age, says Elizabeth Lombardo, a clinical psychologist and a physical therapist from Wexford, Pa.

"When we are worried, when we are emotionally stressed, our body is in a state of arousal. Consistent and chronic stress adversely affects every organ system in your body. There are biochemical changes that happen to your immune system," she says.

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