How a young mental attitude helps you live for longer
-Sep 14, Jenny Paul , Mind -
We all know those people who are seemingly ageless, whether it’s Olga Murray who at a sprightly 100 years of age is spending her retirement hiking in Tibet whilst running a local charity, or runner Irene Obera who at 84 was recently named fastest woman on earth for her age. These people are everywhere and are well into their seventh, eighth and nine decades yet sparkle with a joie de vivre and energy that some of us feel we are lacking at 35.
What is the difference between the so-called ‘superagers’ and the rest of the population?
The lifestyle factors that accelerate ageing and shorten lifespans are well known. Smoking, alcohol, not exercising regularly, eating a diet that’s heavy on refined sugar and fried foods but low on nutrient packed fruit and vegetables as well as stress are just some of the culprits behind chronic illness and a lack of energy and vitality as we reach 35 and beyond.
What if your state of mind was also a key to ageing well?
Sara Palmer Hussey, who is Lumity’s creator and a Cambridge University alumna and PhD, says that your mind is definitely a factor behind how we age and that there’s an entire new field of medicine that’s dedicated to learning how the mind-body link can be applied to thriving rather than surviving in our later years.
“There’s a relatively new field of medicine known as psychoneuroimmunology,” Sara explains. “This new science seeks to demonstrate how the thoughts we hold and the emotions we feel have a physical chemical existence in our bodies and, therefore, affect the environment of our cells. We know that stress can trigger disease and accelerate ageing, so prioritising activities that sideline stress and increase enjoyment in life is a very good way to slow down ageing.”
There was a really interesting study that was led by Yannick Stephan, a professor of health and ageing psychology at the University of Montpellier in France. He discovered that people over 40 with younger mental ages also worried less and were more mindful in all that they did, which led to them gleaning the wisdom that comes with age, without losing the open-mindedness and energy of youth.
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The link between how you feel and the health of our brains
There’s a very definite link between how you feel emotionally and the physical state of our brains. Researchers in South Korea scanned the brains of 68 healthy older adults and found that those who felt younger than their real age had less age-related deterioration and thicker brain matter.
These findings are this two-fold: feeling young seems to be the spark that encourages the over 40s to exercise more, eat a heathy diet and keep their weight plus their blood pressure in check, which in turn helped to keep their brains healthy. But also having a healthy brain seems to be a factor behind people feeling younger.
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Inside the mind-body connection of healthy ageing
Interestingly, people being made to feel younger thanks to positive praise from others has a marked physical effect which sees their physical and mental performance actually improves. A study which was published in the journal Aging and Mental Health last year found that there was a tangible improvement in memory after subjects were told they were more mentally agile than other people their age.
How to live for longer with an improved quality of life
Andrew Steptoe, who directs the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing and is a professor of psychology at University College London, has found that people who feel younger than their actual age are 40% less likely to die than those who feel older than they really are. But he underlines that he’s not completely sure what drives the responses from participants in his studies.
He said: “Our study evidence shows that subjective age is predictive of people’s physical and mental health. But we are still not entirely sure what is influencing people’s answers when you ask them about their subjective age.
“Some might be thinking about their physical capabilities. Some will think about their mental capacities. Some might be thinking about their physical appearance. What we don’t know is whether these things are equally important.”
The keys to living happily and healthy for years to come
If you want to live happily and stay healthy for longer, make sure you dedicate a portion of each day to stress relief, exercise and doing things that make you look and feel happy and youthful. Whether that’s yoga, meditation, going for dog walks, painting, or sitting on a swing in the park and flying as high as you can whilst gazing at the clouds, these are the things that should come top of the to-do list, before the tasks that stress you out.
If your relationship, job, or anything else is weighing you down and making you feel exhausted and frazzled then make the life change now – your body and your mind will thank you for this years from now.
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Health is wealth and looking and feeling good is not a cost, it’s an investment
Currently, the only supplement on the market to take account of all of the processes involved in ageing is Lumity. The synergy of its natural ingredients works in harmony with the body’s biorhythmic cycles to support the body’s innate ability to maintain optimum efficiency, health and youth through the years. Lumity nudges the body’s tendency from inefficiency and ageing back to health and efficiency. This new level of cellular efficiency is consolidated week by week to offer tangible benefits including stronger energy levels, healthy, youthful skin, hair and nails, a strong immune system, greater strength and stamina and a new happy balance.