The findings showed that negative thinking can affect the quality of life and may also lead to health ramifications.
Older adults who did not show any negative emotions, but had a significant increase in positive attitudes toward ageing handled stress much better.
Conversely, the elderly with more negative attitudes toward ageing showed a sharp increase in negative emotional affect on stressful days.
More adverse emotional responses to stress are associated with increased cardiovascular health risks, the researchers said.
“This tells us that the way we think about ageing has very real consequences for how we respond to difficult situations when we are older,” says Shevaun Neupert, Associate Professor at North Carolina State University in the US.
For the study, the team included 43 adults between 60 to 96 years old who answered the daily questionnaire for eight consecutive days.
At the beginning of the study, participants were asked about their attitudes toward ageing. For example, participants were asked if they felt whether they are as useful now as they had been when they were younger, and whether they are as happy as they were when younger.
The researchers also accounted the personality of participants by studying whether they were optimistic and upbeat about everything, or were there benefits tied specifically to an individual’s attitudes about ageing?.
“Attitudes toward ageing vary widely across cultures and more work would need to be done to determine the importance of ageing attitudes in other settings,” noted Jennifer Bellingtier, doctoral student at North Carolina State University.