A research study published in Journal of American Medicine Association discovered that older individuals who perceived themselves three or more years younger than their actual age had a lower death rate compared with those who felt their age or those who felt more than one year older than their actual age.
In another study two researchers at University College London compared the responses of about 6,500 women and men, age 52 and older, with an average age of 65 who answered the question, "How old do you feel you are?" In their answers, about 70% felt three or more years younger than their actual age, 25% felt close to their actual age and 5% felt more than one year older than their actual age.
Eight years after study participants answered the age question, researchers identified which ones were still alive and they found that, 75% of those who felt older than their age, 82% of those who felt their actual age, 86% of those who felt younger than their actual age.
There was no correlation between self-perceived age and cancer death. But researchers found a strong relationship between self-perceived age and cardiovascular death. They interpreted that feeling younger may lead to better health habits creating an effect on our health.
The research shows that there are several ways that feeling younger psychologically might lead to better health.
The most important one is physical exercise. When people feel younger psychologically, even if physical exercise is challenging, they're more likely to perform it. When people see themselves as old, they’re more likely to abandon physical challenges which feel difficult. The Free senior exercise program offered by our clinic can be a great start.
Another way that feeling younger leads to better health may be attitude about diet. Feeling young, will make us think about the future accomplishments that will lead us to a healthy diet. If we feel old, we're likely to look at food with an 'I don’t have much to live, I might as well have some of this' attitude which could lead us to unhealthy eating.
Feeling younger may also inspire a sense of resilience that keeps people young.
Challenge yourself to try new things, learn new ideas, and develop new skills. Realizing that most human abilities follow a "use it or lose it" pattern can motivate us to stay active in all areas of our lives.
Give your awareness continuously to the instant time, using conventional mindfulness reflection or unconventional consideration. This can easily allow you to value this present moment, instead of ending up being lost in remorse about the past or envisioning potential destruction.
Create an understanding of significance in life. Concentrate on something larger than yourself, regardless if this is simply networking with people around you or even supporting improvement in the lives of others. Dedicate yourself to an interest you enjoy, such as landscaping, participating in the dancing or live theatre. Permanently comparing your present ability to perform physical and mental activities with the ones in the past will make you have a very difficult time with the aging process.
So, don’t forget, You Are As Old As You Feel!