#160 Defy Your Age and Actually Live Longer

Defy Your Age and Actually Live Longer

Can you defy your age and think yourself younger?  A recent study showed that you really are only as old physically as you think you are.  Read on to learn how to defy your age and live younger and longer.

Lisa’s Experience

At 42, Lisa felt old.  Perhaps it was because she was struggling with the fact that she was now a grandma.

Her joints hurt. Her blood pressure was up.  She didn’t even feel like exercising anymore.

When Lisa came to see me, she really did look much older than her actual age.  Like many people, she was aging way too fast.

She had also developed a heart condition called atrial fibrillation.  Atrial fibrillation is generally something that doesn’t start until people are in their 60s or 70s.

In addition to the typical treatment plan for atrial fibrillation, I encouraged Lisa to act younger.

“But I don’t feel young!” she protested.

“Try it anyway and let me know how it goes,” I said.

“Okay,” she said as she left my office.

At our next visit, she was a changed person.  Her atrial fibrillation, arthritis, and high blood pressure were mostly gone.  She was even exercising again.

“What happened,” I asked.

“I took your advice and starting acting younger.  I love my long walks and my grandson is the best thing that ever happened to me,” she said.

Could something like this really happen?  Yes, according to a recent study.

Defy Your Age and Live Longer Study

In this study, researchers wanted to see if there was any link to feeling old versus being old.  After following 6,489 people for eight years here is what they found.

Those who felt younger than their actual age were 72% more likely to be alive eight years later!  Indeed, studies of centenarians show that most centenarians feel about 20 years younger than they actually are.

How do you explain the findings of this study?

There are a number of possible reasons why thinking you are young could help to slow the aging process.  For example, people who feel younger are more likely to be physically active.

It is also possible that those who feel young may eat healthier, engage in more social activities, or look more to help others.  Further studies are definitely needed to better understand how your thoughts may speed up or slow down the physical aging process.

Key Message of this Study

The key message of this study is that when it comes to aging, your thoughts may become your reality.  If you feel younger than you really are, your body may just behave accordingly.

The Challenge

My challenge to you is that even if you no longer feel “young,” try thinking you are young again.  Defy your age.  Try it for at least a week and let me know how it goes.

First, never say the “old” word.  If anyone asks you how you are feeling, tell them you feel young and energetic.  You could also respond, “never better.”

Next, don’t complain about any of your health challenges.  Instead, tell yourself and others that you haven’t felt this good since age 20 or 30.

Last, do what young people do.  Make sure you are doing something physically active every day.  Take your spouse, significant other, or a friend out this weekend.  Go to a concert or go dancing.

Do you feel young at heart?  If so, please leave your comments below so that others may benefit.  As always, I’ll do my best to answer any questions left below.

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  2. This article could be me. Im 63, obese, new a fib diagnosed 6 mo ago.(PAF). Put on heart meds that made me feel 20 yr older plus anxiety was consuming me. Had to quit my fulltime RN position as I was weak, dizzy, etc.
    Eventually insisted on seeing an EP. He was and is a blessing. Stopped all meds, told me to go enjoy life, exercise , eat heart healthy and try and drop weight(40-50lb) After a week, I felt great. Ive joined a gym, only drink water, trying to eat healthy and really feel 50, not 63. My joints feel better too.
    He said a fib may go away of if it comes back, will b less aggressive. Ive got my flecanide and metoprolol as pip but hoping I wont need it.
    I wish all heart docs, or any doc would stress the importance of lifestyle. I should have known better but abused my body for years. No more! In a way Im glad I got a fib as it has made me re evaluate my life and its only getting better.