4 Straightforward ways for seniors to practice positive aging


Positivity isn't the same old game it used to be. 

It's much more dynamic now days, as mental health becomes more of a priority and mental illness less of a stigma. 

Being a positive person no longer means ignoring all the bad in the world and in your personal life, or covering up harder emotions with "good vibes."

And at the same time, the public is becoming more aware of ageism and its harmful impacts. 

How can seniors practice positive aging in the most beneficial and realistic way? 

Let's explore some ways. 


Don’t confuse positivity with “toxic positivity” 

This is one that really grinds my gears. 

I know a lot of people that think in order to “be positive” you have to suppress any bad feelings about your circumstance, and cover up these feelings with positivity and a smile. 

“I got into a giant fight with my sister and we haven’t spoken for months. But I’m fine- I just need to get over it.” 

Fast-forward to a couple days later, when this person can’t get out of bed or takes out their anger by way of road rage, instead of letting their emotions pass and accepting how they feel. 

Meditation and therapy can help immensely with embracing whatever you may be feeling, and not feeling shame for how these emotions surface. Keep reading to learn about these resources below. 

Burying those feelings will only work for so long, before they resurface in another form- anger, resentment and bitterness. 

So what exactly is toxic positivity? 

According to the site Very Well Mind, “toxic positivity denies people the authentic support that they need to cope with what they are facing.”

What does toxic positivity look like? 

  • Avoiding problems rather than facing them

  • Dismissing other people’s feelings because they make you feel uncomfortable

  • Experiencing guilt for being angry or sad

Those are just a few of the ways that toxic positivity can show up.

While people who engage in toxic positivity might mean well, it denies the authentic human experience of our range of emotions, causes guilt and shame for the person who is handling tough emotions, and prevents personal growth. 

So let’s all move away from toxic positivity and realize that we’re all human, and no one needs to put on a happy face all the time.

However, it's important to realize that toxic positivity is ingrained in American culture, so it may take people a while to realize when they're using this coping mechanism. 


Glad we got that out of the way.


Seize the upside of aging  


Thankfully, we live in a time when mental health resources are more accessible, and when aging is becoming more embraced than avoided. 

Even if it’s a slow inch towards the embracing end… 

Of course, our outlook on aging depends on our culture and our unique upbringing. Some cultures, like our Western culture, see aging as something to fight because we place so much value on youth and physical beauty, according to Positive Psychology

Other cultures revere their elders and look to them for decision-making and their wisdom. 

Let’s take a page from their books and highlight the upside of aging now days: 

  • Maintaining good health is more accessible through tele-therapy and online resources, and the average life span is longer than ever 

  • More wisdom and confidence = more clout (a.k.a. take less bullshit!)

  • More emotional regulation (handling our emotions in a safe and controllable way) 

  • You’re not alone-  in the not-too-distant future, people over 60 will make up 20 percent of the world’s population

With this in mind, it’s important to remember that ageism can negatively impact senior health. Read our blog on how this happens HERE.

Embrace gratitude, the foundation of positive aging  

Gratitude is just wonderful. 

Why do I think this? Because even if everything in your life seems to be falling apart, and you’ve had the worst day imaginable, most of us can still find something to be grateful about. 

The roof over our heads. 

A warm and comfortable place to sleep. 

Coffee in the morning, and watching the sun filter through the windows. 

I feel grateful already. 

Not only can gratitude help you reframe the circumstances of your life, it’s scientifically proven to make you a happier person.  

According to the online psychology resource Hey Sigmund, “research has shown that gratitude can improve general well-being, increase resilience, strengthen social relationships, and reduce stress and depression. The more grateful people are, the greater their overall well-being and life satisfaction.

People who are grateful sleep better, have stronger immune systems and lower blood pressure. 

There are countless ways to practice gratitude, from journal prompts to writing letters to just sitting and thinking about what you’re grateful for every morning. See our inspiration tips below to start on the gratitude train. 

Are you a caregiver? Here are some easy ways you can practice gratitude. 




Discover some more “positive” inspiration 

You may have heard of The Secret or the Power of Now, two books which focus on mindset and the way it determines our perspective and life experiences. If you’re new to the concept of mindset or positive thinking, these books are good places to start. 

There’s no better way to change your thinking habits from the inside out than meditation, in my non-expert opinion. However, I’ve been meditating daily for 4 years now and can attest to how much it’s changed my perspective on the good and the bad. Headspace is a wonderful app that makes meditation approachable, with sessions as shorts as 3 minutes. 

And as mentioned above, therapy can help you explore why certain feelings keep resurfacing, among many other benefits. Open Path Collective makes therapy more affordable, and you can find exactly the type of therapist you’re looking for, whether that’s to deal with trauma, depression or relationship issues. 

Check out our last blog on how therapy can benefit seniors. 

How can home care help you to see the upside of aging? 

The right caregiver can become a trusted companion and assist your loved one in maintaining their independence and all the activities and relationships that keep them healthy and happy. 

If you’re curious how SeaCare helps make aging a more fun and positive experience, give us a call today. 

Megan Marolf writes about senior topics and outdoor recreation from her home base in Seattle. You can read more about her here






Megan Marolf writes about senior topics and outdoor recreation from her home base in Seattle. You can read more about her here










If you or a loved one you know are looking for additional support during this time and are interested in scheduling a free in-home assessment, please contact SeaCare In-Home Care Services today! A SeaCare family member is standing by. 425-559-4339.