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A 105-year-old's secret to a long, happy life

July 25, 2014

Ballroom dancing, Wii bowling and indoor skydiving are some of the hobbies that Agnes McKee has recently started to appreciate. While they're all trendy pastimes common to thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies, what sets Agnes apart from all of them is her age. She just recently celebrated her 105th birthday, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune.

She's been at her assisted living community since it opened, and she's by far one of the favorite residents - and the oldest. Though she told the news source that there was nothing she's consciously done to lengthen her longevity, she made several points in the article that showed that, by not taking herself too seriously, she has actually been practicing one of the scientifically proven tips to a long, healthy life.

Don't sweat the small stuff
Countless research shows the negative effects of stress and worry on a person's resilience. According to the National Institute on Aging, your body's response to a stressful situation is partially responsible for age-related deterioration. Telomeres in the body aid in cell regrowth and repair, and are an important part of healthy aging. It was found that they were shorter in people who repeatedly experienced stressful situations, like caring for a sick child or parent. By keeping a positive outlook on life and handling stress in a healthy way, you can help extend your life and feel healthier.

Learn from Agnes
Agnes told the news source that she "doesn't dwell on anything or worry about something that might have happened," and that's how she stays so resilient. But that doesn't mean her life was always easy. She and her husband lived through the Great Depression and both skipped college so they could provide for themselves. They made do with the skills and resources they had and, even after her husband went to war, she stayed optimistic. 

Fast forward to July 20, 2014, and the worry-free adventurer was just asked to throw the first pitch at the Padres game. Days before she was set to go on the field, she didn't reveal that she was worried about her performance, or nervous about how she would look. Instead, Agnes told The San Diego Union-Tribune that she was excited to eat hot dogs and drink beer in the stands. It's this kind of positive thinking and genuine excitement for life that keeps this 105-year-old so resilient.