While we cannot change our actual age (although this was attempted by Emile Ratelband who attempted to alter his birth certificate two decades because of how young he felt), we can alter how we feel about our date of birth.
That feeling can result in actually acting younger and having more energy. Many people actually feel younger these days and a new term – “age inside” – has consequently been coined. While this also happens the other way round too, attitude can really turn this around. This is not just conditional on physical health status either.
- F. Carver conducted a study on this matter. After interviewing 66 US and Canadian adults from 65 to 90 years old, he found that even though nearly 60% felt pain (from a variety of chronic illnesses) almost daily they actually said they felt “decades younger inside than their chronological ages.” The average age people felt was 51! Thus Carver concluded that over half of the study participants – even though they experienced pain – felt at least 20 years younger than they actually were.
Carver’s is not the only study that has indicated a younger “age inside” of many elderly people. Last year a study conducted by Nicole M. Lindner and Brian A. Nosek through the University of Virginia found that once people get past aged 25, they basically see themselves as younger than they actually are. And the number of years between their chronological and inside age continues to grow as they age!
What is even more impressive than actually feeling younger is how our bodies react. The Virginia University study further found that they see themselves more positively and usually walk faster as well. Some even have a younger-working brain, featuring more grey matter with additional resilience in the prefrontal cortex and superior temporal gyrus.
So even if you do struggle with aging health issues, don’t let them set you back. It’s mind over matter that makes brain matter matter!