The idea that laughter is the best medicine is more than just a well-known saying. In fact, your happiness can have significant influence on your physical health, according to a recent study by the American Stoke Association.

Those living with high levels of stress, anxiety and depression can expect an increased risk of stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA) – temporary blockage of blood flow to the brain. This is why it is important to choose a retirement option that supports a positive lifestyle.

In particular, individuals who reported chronic stress were 59 per cent more likely to experience a stroke or TIA than those with lower rates of anxiety. Similarly, depression caused an 86 per cent increase in the risk of these conditions.  

These findings were collected as part of the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis, an ongoing project researching cardiovascular disease risk factors across a range of race groups in America.

Fortunately, for most of us it isn't hard to inject a little fun and happiness in our day. However, if you've been struggling with stress or depression, here are three ways to archive a more positive senior living option.

1. Stay connected

Having a close network of support can do wonders to your moods, as any stressful burden is shared amongst your family and friends. If things are getting you down, don't be afraid to reach out for help.

In particular, choosing to retire in a community setting is recommended, as this will ensure you always have friends and support close at hand.

2. Help others

Enrich your golden years by helping others. The more people to whom you can make a difference, the more positive you can feel about your own life.

3. Stay active

Just as your mental health can cause physical conditions such as strokes, exercise can have significant impact on your moods. Get your blood flowing and you could soon find your stresses are burned away as easily as your lunch.

Stay happy for your health