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Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Think Yourself Younger


When we do young things; laughing, dancing and having sex, we send a message to our bodies that we are young and this slows down how we age. The younger you feel and act the more you lower your biological age. Our bodies get older on their own timetable. A runner aged 40 may have the heart and lungs of a 25 year old but the knees of a 55 year old. Your birth certificate age is the least important. How old you feel and act are far more important if you want to grow older without growing old.
Think yourself younger
In 2010 Harvard psychologist Dr Ellen Langer took a group of celebrities to a retreat for a BBC programme. It was furnished from 1980 – all the magazines, radio shows and TV programmes were from the 80s, and each person wore a badge of a photo of themselves from then. Before starting, the group underwent tests to determine their age including grip, vision, hearing, balance, hormones,muscle strength, and so on. They all spent a week living as if it was 30 years earlier. Everything going on around them was engineered to enable them to act as they had 30 years ago, subconsciously tricking themselves to believe they were younger. After seven days, they took the same tests again… and all had reversed their age by a minimum of between seven and ten years, and had a new lease of life. When asked to describe what had happened they reported forgetting they were older and as a result they physically grew younger.

These experiments prove that your beliefs determine how you age. If you think and act old, you grow old prematurely, whereas when you think and act younger, you remain younger physically and mentally. That’s why people like Cliff Richard and Keith Richards have aged in a rather unique way, because they are singers, dancing on stage and doing something youthful for a living they are seen as eternally young. Cliff Richards is called Peter Pan and Keith who should have aged terribly because of his abusive lifestyle proves that doing young things and thinking young thoughts is powerful enough to overcome the ageing effect of bad habits. Women who are very girly like Lulu and Goldie Hawn grow older differently because giggling, laughing and doing younger things keeps you younger. Girly thoughts and actions make you stay more girly.

Nelson Mandella spent 30 years in jail with no access to good food or vitamins yet his passion for life kept him youthful alert and full of life. People in Japan with a different expectation of ageing age differently as do people who love exercise, embrace new technology and have an active life – they stay young for longer. Have you noticed those people who seem to love exercise, embrace new technology, love being with younger people and have an active social life are the people who tend to look young, vibrant and happy? That’s not acoincidence; it’s because they are doing the things they did when young. They get the added benefit of looking younger because that’s the way they feel (not the other way round).

If you don’t want to grow old badly don’t use ageing language. Don’t say “I’m too old to wear that,” or “I can’t do that at my age.” Instead of saying “I look old”, which is seen by the mind as permanent, change it to “I look tired.” Your mind accepts that tired is temporary and after sleep you’ll look younger. Using words like knackered, past it, gaga, at my time of life and at my age cause yourmind to accept that ageing and deteriorating are inevitable when that does not have to be the case. If you want to be part of the new old age, use words like youthful, vibrant, full of life and vitality. Your mind believes everything you tell it and acts on those words so if you say “I forgot, it must be my age,” or “I am so cranky and tired I cant stay up late at my age,” you are allowing yourself to believe it is beyond your influence, which is not true. Instead, remember that children forget things all the time and babies are cranky without enough sleep; it’s not your age so don’t attribute negative behaviours to your years. Changing the words you use to describe yourself changes how you look and feel.



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