In our youth-oriented culture, everyone wants to feel and look younger.
However, science points out the benefits of feeling younger. Researchers at University College in London discovered a link between feeling your age and cardiovascular mortality. Positive attitudes about aging may help older adults stay healthy and sharp minded, according to a study published in “Personality and Individual Differences.”
Feeling Younger Than Your Age Has Benefits
Eight years after the University College researchers posed the initial question about whether respondents felt younger than their age, about their age or older than their age, they discovered that 86% of those who felt younger than their age were still alive, compared to 82% of those who felt their age and 75% of those who felt older.
Harvard Medical School’s Dr. Ronald D. Siegel says feeling younger psychologically may lead to better health for two reasons:
- People who feel younger are more likely to pursue exercise, even if it’s challenging.
- People who feel that they’re going to die sooner may not worry about diet.
Interestingly enough, the inverse relationship holds true, too: If you exercise and eat right, you’re more likely to feel younger.
Ways to Feel Younger
Here are 10 more ways, both physically and psychologically, to feel younger:
- Challenge yourself! Whether you engage in new activities, travel to new locales, learn new ideas or develop new skills, your mind builds new pathways. That helps keep your brain healthy.
- Be mindful! Whether you use formal mindfulness meditation, meditate during yoga savasana, or watch the stars at night, mindfulness helps you experience the moment.
- Make a difference! Develop a sense of meaning in life by volunteering, being politically active or engaging in a hobby to power through any physical or mental obstacles.
- Sleep! Getting enough sleep—7 to 9 hours nightly for older people—helps you feel and look younger.
- Pamper yourself! Treat your body and skin with care, and you’ll look younger and healthier than you would otherwise.
- Break out of your comfort zone! Doing something out of your comfort zone puts you in that anxiety sweet spot, where you operate at peak efficiency and alertness.
- Reminisce! A Harvard University study showed that people who were placed in an environment that resembled the scenes of their youth experienced improvements in memory, vision, happiness level and health.
- Disregard the opinions of others! Once you begin acting your age and following societal norms, you will feel your age.
- Surround yourself with positivity! Hang around people who are active and young at heart if you want to stay that way. Listen to positive music. Limit the news.
- Supplement! If you tried to get all the nutrients you need from food, you’d be dead of obesity. The levels of certain enzymes, vitamins and hormones decrease as we age, so it makes sense to many people to add them to counteract the effects of aging. Experts believe CoQ10 can help reduce heart attacks and reduce the effects of free radicals. Other supplements that have had positive results in scientific studies include carnitine and fish oil.
As we age, it becomes more difficult to change our attitude and perspective. The pathways in our minds are worn like ruts in a dirt road. These methods make it easier to step out of those ruts and make a new start. Try one!