A recent study by Italian and American universities published in the journal International Psychology found that these long-lived Italians have two things in common: stubbornness and busyness.
Longevity, old people are busy.
Emma Morano, a 117-year-old Italian who died at home in April 2017, is thought to be “the last long-lived person on Earth born in the 19th century”. Researchers at the University of Rome first and the San Diego School of Medicine at the University of California in the United States of America studied 29 people over 90 years of age in Italy, all from nine villages 150 kilometers south of Naples. The region is a world-famous “longevity home”, with an average age of 85 for men and 92 for women.
The researchers talked to each of the elderly to learn about their work, family, beliefs and life experiences. In addition to optimism, love of work and hometown, these old people are “stubborn, busy, and want to control everything.” They are usually hard to convince and want to do everything in their own way. In addition, most of Italy’s long-lived elderly still insist on farming. In the interview, many old people said: “my family hope I don’t go down to work anymore, but there is life in the farmland!” “moving wood, picking olives, doing farm work, I haven’t stopped working since I was 13.” Another long-lived man told the researchers: “there are always difficulties in life, but I keep thinking in the best direction that there is always a solution.” ”
Tang Yonglong, a professor of psychology at Southwest University and head of the Department of Applied Psychology, says that it is this positive attitude, love of work, family, and native land, that gives them solid goals in life. This may be the “secret of longevity” for older Italians. From the character point of view, stubbornness is a positive factor for the elderly, they believe in themselves very much, do not particularly care about the views of others, although busy, but relaxed mentality. The head of the study, Professor Jester, said that people in better mental health generally had “stubborn, professional, positive” personality traits and were deeply linked to their families, religion and land.
Stubbornness and busyness affect life.
“if life is a river, busyness keeps the river flowing, stubbornness is like the values and rules of life, guiding the direction of the flowing water. Xiao Zhenyu, director of the Evaluation Department of the Mental Health Application Center of the Institute of Psychology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, likens the “stubbornness and busyness” to the fact that busyness can make old people’s life more fulfilling and valuable, and enhance their self-esteem and subjective well-being.Whether it’s volunteering, planning a long-term program, or enrolling in a university for the elderly, these activities are good for longer life. “it seems busy, but it’s an extension of life. ”
Tong agrees, saying that life is about exercise, or muscles, bones and brains will degenerate and accelerate aging. Keeping busy can make old people feel meaningful and needed. When you do nothing, you lack a sense of being and feel “old and useless”.
In life, some old people are called “stubborn”. The older people, the more limited their energy and ability to cope with change, the more likely they are to be stubborn, says Mr Tong. Although the old man’s obstinate character may cause trouble to his family, it is good for his health. Xiao Zhenyu said, first of all, stubborn elderly people are usually more confident, independent, will not follow others, can avoid some dangerous herd behavior. For instance, the stampede or disturbance caused by the crowd. Secondly, these elderly people are not easily influenced by the eyes or opinions of others. They will not be bothered by the consideration of all aspects of their views, and they will not be subjected to much less social pressure. Finally, confident, self-determined old people are not easy to be fooled, avoid buying some useless or even toxic and harmful “health products.”
Of course, stubbornness is not without harm, some old people insist that they are wrong and insist not to admit it. For example, forcing people to give up their seats, and quarrel with people to blush the neck thick, not only cause trouble to others, but also may induce health problems. Excessive stubbornness may also be the manifestation of disease, if the elderly stubborn, paranoid, irritable, to be alert to Alzheimer’s disease, timely hospital inquiries, early discovery and early treatment.
To do according to one’s strength, to choose good and be stubborn.
Mr Tong says stubbornness and busyness are a double-edged sword. Busyness requires a lot of energy and stubbornness requires goodness and stubbornness.
Choose good and be stubborn. Mr Tong says this refers to whether or not an elderly person, under normal cognitive circumstances, insists on something that is consistent with universal values. . But the stubbornness of bad habits such as smoking and drinking can increase the risk of illness intangibly and lead to a long and healthy life.
Do what you can. Xiao Zhenyu said that the elderly can not always live in the past, such as how many hours a day in those years, how many pounds of heavy burden, and so on. Accept yourself as the reality of old people and do what you can. Such as doing volunteer or consulting work, coaching grandchildren to do some homework, can also make cognitive function to maintain a certain degree of activity.
Optimistic and tolerant. Mr Tong says it is a good thing that the elderly have a lot of experience and want to share their experience with young people. But the times are changing, do not force indoctrination to young people, might as well let them experience and hone themselves. .
Pay attention to the mental endowment. Modern society “empty nest” old people more and more, material life is not scarce, spiritual life often can not be cared for. Over time, the old character will become more stubborn and lonely. As children, should pay attention to spiritual support, often go home to see, chat with the elderly, so that they spend their twilight years.