Posted on Mar 19, 2021, 5 p.m.
“AGE is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” ~ Mark Twain.
A growing body of evidence suggests that subjective age can have a very real impact on health and longevity; people who feel younger than their years often are in terms of how long they have left to live.
Biological clocks may measure various markers in the body to see how far along the physical aging process we are, but there is more to this puzzle because we know that physical aging is not the end-all and be-all when gauging longevity.
The latest anti-aging tip: It is possible to trick your mind into feeling younger to slow down brain aging. According to a recent study from Seoul National University, this mindset can improve your physical and mental health and slow down the rate of brain aging.
Findings from this study indicate that elderly people who feel younger than their chronological age show fewer signs of brain aging as compared to their counterparts who feel their age or older.
“We tend to think of ageing as a fixed process, where our bodies and minds change steadily. However, the passing years affect everyone differently. How old we feel, which is called our subjective age, also varies between people — with many feeling older or younger than their actual age,” said Jeanyung Chey of Seoul National University in South Korea.
Factors such as getting adequate sleep, being physically active, maintaining a healthy balanced diet, avoiding added sugars, increasing intake of Vitamin D and C, and consuming antioxidant-rich foods like green tea, fruit, vegetables, and dark chocolate seems to take precedence in simple practices to help slow down the physical progress of aging. Most people forget that one of the best ways to prevent brain aging is by stimulating the brain through lifelong learning.
One study from the University Hospital in Poland shows that age-related frailty may be a preventable health issue, and it suggests that people should opt for maintaining a healthy anti-aging lifestyle that includes adequate physical, mental, and social activities to help prevent or delay the frailty state.
Research from the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada shows that the closer people feel to their chronological age the lower the quality of their sex life. “Feeling younger had a huge impact on how people felt about the quality of their sex life and how interested they were in having sex,” said Steven Mock, Associate Professor at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada.
Research from the University of Michigan found that women reported feeling less stressed and enjoyed a higher quality of life during their midlife, with perceived stress decreasing for most women over a 15-year span.
This study published in the journal Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience involved taking MRI brain scans from participants between the ages of 59-84 years old to examine grey matter volumes in various regions. Results reveal that those who felt younger than their chronological age were more likely to score higher on memory testing, considered their health to be better, were less likely to report depressive symptoms, and they showed increased grey matter volume in key brain regions compared to their counterparts.
“We found that people who feel younger have the structural characteristics of a younger brain,” Chey said. “Importantly, this difference remains robust even when other possible factors, including personality, subjective health, depressive symptoms, or cognitive functions, are accounted for.”
It was hypothesized that those who feel older may be able to sense the aging process in their brain, as the loss of their grey matter may make cognitive tasks more challenging. Another possibility to their findings is that those who feel younger are more likely to be leading a more physically and mentally active lifestyle which could translate to improvements in their brain health, but their counterparts could be experiencing the opposite.
Findings from this study suggest that those who feel older than their age should seriously consider taking care of/caring for their brain health to think themselves younger. This brings us to another saying that often comes in handy “Confidence, competence, and an optimistic mindset can help you to achieve the results you are looking for.” Perhaps the best anti-aging tool may be simply to feel younger than your years, it certainly can’t do any harm. Enjoy.
As with anything you read on the internet, this article should not be construed as medical advice; please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before making any changes to your wellness routine.
Materials provided by:
Content may be edited for style and length.
This article is not intended to provide medical diagnosis, advice, treatment, or endorsement.