Did you know that as you age if you have more positive perceptions of aging, you will age better both physically and cognitively than those with who have a negative perception of aging?
Yup, this is true.
You’re also more likely to recover from severe injuries that may occur, you remember better, walk faster, have more muscle tone, better balance, and you will even live longer.
Research has shown that things like hearing loss and cardiovascular disease can be related to the age beliefs that we absorb from our social surrounding. And that positive age beliefs can act as a buffer against developing dementia in people who carry the Alzheimer’s gene.
The same researchers found that the single most important factor in determining longevity – more important than gender, income, social background, loneliness, or health – was how people thought about and approached the idea of aging.
Age beliefs have been found to add or reduce your life by nearly eight years.
All the things that we hear, and even say to ourselves – things like when you can remember something you’ve had a senior moment because you’re getting old, or I can’t do that because I’m over 50, or this hurts because I’m getting old, things like that, these form mental images that actually affect how we age. And, unfortunately, this is ubiquitous within our culture. In the US aging is looked down upon. We see it all over, within the workplace, in the movies and television shows and in society in general, and unfortunately, we start acting out these scripts and we become who we’re expected to become.
Memory decline and other forms of aging aren’t necessarily the act of biological aging, it’s how we approach and think about aging.
Yes, sometimes we do forget things, yes, it happens, and it happens at every age.
And, yes, there are times when we don’t walk as fast as we can, and it happens at every age.
And, yes, we get wrinkles, but this doesn’t only happen because we’re getting older, it’s happening because we’ve damaged our skin
And, yes, we can lose muscle mass, but this can happen at every age if you don’t use your muscles.
So, all the things that are happening we’re aging, aren’t necessarily happening because we’re aging, they’re happening because we, in our minds, accept all the things that society has put on us about aging.
Join me in saying a big Fuck that!