By HealthDay News
People who believe their bodies and minds will break down with age may be creating a self-fulfilling prophecy, a recent study suggests.
Researchers found that older adults with a dim outlook on aging tended to report more physical health symptoms on days when they were stressed out than on less stressful days.
In contrast, people with more of a “golden years” perspective seemed to have some protection against daily stress: They actually reported fewer health problems on days where they felt more stressed than usual.
“We’ve known that there’s a strong relationship between perceived stress and physical health,” said lead researcher Dakota Witzel, a doctoral candidate at Oregon State University’s College of Public Health and Human Sciences, in Corvallis.
Numerous studies have found that when people habitually feel stressed-out they may eat poorly, skip exercise and have long-term consequences like high blood pressure and an increased risk of heart disease.
But the new findings, Witzel said, suggest that a brighter outlook on aging can be a buffer against the physical effects of daily stress.