One of the foundations of aging well is to be mindful of your mindset with the ultimate goal being to transform how you really feel about growing older. It’s exciting to read that science is discovering that how we feel about aging matters much more than we’ve ever thought.
On average, people 40 and older report feeling 20% younger than their actual age. Studies show that distancing yourself from age distances you from negative age stereotypes. How old do you feel?
Though negative stereotypes about getting older can become a self-fulfilling prophecy, it’s never too late to shift our focus, and the new year is a great time for new commitments — especially because researchers are confirming that if we think about getting older in terms of decline, our health will likely get worse. If we frame getting older in terms of growth and opportunity, our bodies respond in kind.
The key is to bring balance to your thoughts about the aging process and not just see the negative part of aging as the whole picture.
To protect yourself from the effects of negative stereotypes about aging, you can substitute the positive for negative. This means to make it a point to emphasize the good aspects of aging regularly. Notice the people who are productive, who are vibrant and happy. The more you do this, the more you will be able to associate the good aspects of aging with positive stereotypes and in turn make a marked difference in how you feel about getting older.
Alice Inoue is the founder of Happiness U. Visit yourhappinessu.com.