“Being happy doesn’t just make us feel better, it improves our health,” said psychiatrist Dr. Francoise Adan in an interview with the American Heart Association.  And the connection goes both ways: Your mental state is deeply influenced by a wide range of lifestyle factors, from how often you spend time with friends to how well you sleep at night.

In other words, investing in whole-person wellness pays double the dividends – and as we celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month this May, there’s no better time to take inventory of your mindset and priorities. How does your lifestyle reflect the life you want to live? Do you have the freedom to focus on you?

While “a balanced lifestyle” means something slightly different to each person, there are a few simple factors that support happiness and health at any age:

  • Get moving more. Whether you’re dancing along to a lively tune or finding inner balance through yoga, moving more throughout the day can brighten your outlook and boost your mood. And there’s a physiological reason for that: Exercise lowers stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, while increasing mood-boosting endorphins.

  • Build your support network. How happy we are throughout life may depend on one simple factor, researchers say: The people we spend our lives with. “Social fitness,” measured by the depth and breadth of our personal relationships, is proven to improve emotional wellness throughout life – and can even help us live longer.
  • Seek out intellectual challenges. From creative hobbies like painting and music … to thought-provoking discussions on current events, pursuing a variety of different intellectual activities can keep you alert, focused and feeling good about learning something new.
  • Age with positivity. “Mindset really matters when it comes to health, and it can even extend your life,” reports The New York Times. In fact, one well-known study that showed older adults who felt optimistic about aging lived seven and a half years longer on average than those who didn’t – an impact on longevity even greater than that of not smoking or regular exercise.

Pursuing mental wellness is a lifelong journey, but there is one easy way to set your mind at ease: Move to The Mayflower!

Living in a Life Plan Community is associated with research-backed benefits for physical, emotional and social health, and for good reason. With an effortless, maintenance-free lifestyle and access to award-winning healthcare right on campus, Mayflower residents are free to live without worries.

If you’re ready to embark on a future that puts you first, there’s no better time. Find out why our community is known as Winter Park’s finest: Give us a call at 407.672.1620 or send us a message – we look forward to hearing from you!