You won’t believe what this does to your body!
When was the last time someone asked you your age?
How did that number make you feel? Old? Young? Indifferent?
I turned 67 in June.
I had to do the math to be sure I had it right.
I’m old enough to retire – if I wanted to. More than halfway through my life unless I exceed Jeanne Calment’s record of 122 years. Yet I don’t feel much different today than I did 30 or even 40 years ago.
I’m more active now. I know more. I’m calmer and more self-assured, and more engaged in my work than I’ve ever been.
I have a feeling you can relate.
A mind-blowing study done just last year examined how our “perception” of our age – whether we feel younger or older than our actual age, impacts the physical and biological process of aging.
Here’s what they found…
Elderly individuals who perceived themselves as younger than their real age had younger brain structures, more gray matter (a measure of intellectual capacity), and less depressive symptoms. The study also found that seeing yourself as younger also influences late-life neurocognitive health – in a good way.
This isn’t denial by any stretch, it’s simply pushing aside the common belief that getting older means getting frail.
“Our findings suggest that subjective experience of aging is closely related to the process of brain aging and underscores the neurobiological mechanisms of (our perception) as an important marker of late-life neurocognitive health.”
Where we put the mind, we put the body.
Another study reports: “…The biochemistry of our body stems from our awareness… Each and every tiny cell in our body is perfectly and absolutely aware of our thoughts, feelings and of course, our beliefs… “
Every thought that passes through your mind triggers a chemical reaction that ripples through your body affecting your biology and your health – including how quickly or slowly you age.
When we think about our age, we often tend to make associations. Sixty-five might get you thinking it’s time to retire and hang it up. Eighty means something else… and many think of forty as the road to decline.
Whatever meaning you assign to that number sends a subliminal message to your very brilliant body – which is always listening – to enact the biochemical changes that reflect your thinking.
What can you do to turn it around? Here are some simple tips to help you think and feel younger and turn the clock back…
- Remove these phrases from your vocabulary “I’m too old” and “it’s too late”. You’re never too old and it’s never too late to engage in many of the activities you did in years past. You just think you are. Stop that!
- “Act As If “– Ellen Langer, a psychologist at Harvard, obsessed with understanding how the mind impacts the body, took a group of elderly men out of a nursing home and temporarily placed them in a setting that duplicated their lives 20 years earlier. They were coached to “act as if” they were living at that time – not to pretend.
After just five days every one of them showed improvements in both physical and mental capacity. They stood taller, increased in strength and flexibility, and improved in memory tests. Men that came in with canes, walked out on their own two feet. In pictures taken after they even looked noticeably younger.
What activities, hobbies, sports, and things have you given up in life because you thought you were too mature or old to keep doing them?
Never stop doing what you love. You might not be able to run the marathon as fast as you did in your 30s, but you can still run – or walk it.
- Make some younger friends – Their energy is contagious. They see life from a different vantage point. They’ll challenge your thinking, and introduce you to activities and things you probably thought were just for kids – but are just as good for you!
- Up your physical activity – As we get older, it’s easy to get lazy. We slow down and that’s not a good thing. When you slow down, so does your body and that’s when you really start feeling tired, worn out, and old.
One sure way to stop this downward spiral is to get moving. Movement stimulates blood flow, driving oxygen and nourishment to your joints, muscles, heart, brain, and every part of your human landscape. Your body understands that you’re back on track and it responds in kind, keeping you vibrant and strong and youthful!
Just walking regularly is associated with a lower subjective age.
Move often to let your body know that you’re alive and well… walk, run, stroll, garden, rake leaves, lift weights, and do little things throughout the day to keep your body active and vital.
And the next time you start feeling old and over the hill, think back to your younger days – how you felt, what you were doing, how you lived and bring some of that energy back into your life.
It’s all about your feelings…
Feel old – grow old.
Feel young – grow young.
The choice is yours.
With love, ♥
Want some tips or a little help taking your health to the next level, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or go here to book a complimentary Health Assessment. No fun going alone!