Successful aging is an experience governed by gender, culture, personality, and health-related factors. For some, successful aging simply means freedom from disability, while for others it is a more comprehensive assessment of life satisfaction. With an aging population, our society needs to evaluate what it means to 'age successfully' and how we – as healthcare providers or as families, friends, and neighbors – can help the elderly among us achieve and maintain valuable years near the end of their lives.
Good news for all worrywarts and overachievers! All your moodiness, anxiety, organizational skills, and self-control may make you healthier. An analysis of personality traits and health biomarkers concluded that adults who display high levels of neuroticism -- symptoms like worry, anxiety, anger, guilt, and jealousy – along with high levels of conscientiousness -- being organized, thoughtful, and deliberate -- had lower levels of inflammatory biomarkers, lower occurrences of chronic disease, and lower body mass indexes (BMIs).
Empathy is the ability to perceive and react to another person’s emotions. Much attention has been paid to empathy regarding negative emotions, but little is known about how (or if) we respond to positive emotions in the same way. Now, a new study reports that joy may be harder to share than distress. Psychology researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging to evaluate the neural networks of 21 adults in response to positive and negative emotional stimuli.
Philosophers, religious leaders, and anthropologists have long asserted that the true measure of the goodness of a culture is how it treats those hardest to care for -- namely children and the elderly. According to a new report by the National Research Council, our society is missing the mark.
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