Earlier this month, I wrote an article in this blog about the expectations of aging and how the very fear and expectations of getting older could accelerate the process. I quoted Maxwell Maltz, author of the famous self-help book from the 1960s, Psycho-Cybernetics, where he asks the question “Do we sometimes think ourselves into Old Age?” He wrote that in 1960.
It seems there has been a great deal of research and experimentation on the subject in Great Britain. Marisa Peer, British author of the book Forever Young, cites several studies conducted by the BBC and others that seem to validate that premise. In one study conducted as far back as 1975, two groups of seniors were assembled. One group was put in surroundings simulating experiences in 1959 (music, surroundings, furnishings and language). The other group remained in the present, doing present day things. The group put in the 1959 era came out of the experience feeling younger, acting younger and looking younger. Based on physiological tests performed before and after the experience, there were some with physiological changes showing them to be as much as seven years younger.
More recent studies by the BBC found similar results. In fact in one recent BBC study, a woman on crutches was apparently able to get rid of them in the middle of the experiment. The BBC has done a number of similar experiments and the results were much the same in all cases..
Writers of personal development literature have focused on the power of thought and how it effects the body, for years. Today, medical and psychological experiments are providing serious evidence that changing your thoughts, beliefs and language may:
- Improve your immune function
- Make you live longer
- Change the production of chemicals in your body
- Make you physically look and feel better (remember, some of the seniors in the BBC experiment actually developed physiological characteristics of a person as much as seven years younger).
- Change your physiology
When youthful thinking is combined with exercise, good eating habits, deep breathing and plenty of rest and sleep, you can stay fit, active, and healthy throughout a longer, more youthful feeling life.
Two other things can help keep your mind young and active. One is cross body exercise where you move your arms and legs across your body from one side to the other. The second is to practice what is known as Neurobics. These are mental exercises which create new neural pathways in your mind. It means trying things you have never done before and doing familiar things differently. It means breaking your routine and changing your habits and using you senses in different ways. A simple example would be to put on pants starting with a different leg first.
The moral of the story may be to never dress like an old person, use positive dynamic language, and hang around with your grandkids. Do what your grandkids do. Act like they act. If you do young things, you’ll stay young.
According to Marisa Peer, “To stay younger, change your language, change your thoughts, change your beliefs.” She said she watched Mick Jagger run around the stage in a concert in Cuba for two full hours at age 75. So she added, “Have a little Mick Jagger in your mind. Don’t give in to aging.” And like Mick Jagger, keep your body moving!
Thank you for reading.