How much about what you think about aging matters? This is a big question. Today there are many approaches to this question. Some people use wrinkle creams and others hit the gym to stay physically active. One issue is what we think about aging. However, that’s just the start. People have different views and opinions about aging. That includes issues like what people should focus on and what is less important. There have been several studies done that show various steps can help to extend a person’s projected lifespan. They include eating healthy food, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep.
On the other hand, it’s just as important to start thinking about these issues. There’s the saying that “age is just a number.” There are a few key issues with this saying. One is that it’s talking about the “chronological age” that’s based on when a person was born. That is a number that we should track because it’s good to celebrate milestones in our lives. On the other hand, this approach is different than the “biological age.” That’s how old we are in terms of how well our body functions. It could be the same as our chronological age, or even younger or older.
What Exactly Is Aging?
This might seem like a basic question but it can be a loaded one based on various factors. When tracking a person’s “age” there are two main types. One is the “chronological age.” This is the one we celebrate every year with a birthday cake and other traditions.
The chronological age is simply based on the year, month, date, and even time we were born. We can’t change our chronological age because it’s simply based on the particular date in world history that we were born.
Then there’s something called “biological” age. As the name suggests this is based more on how old our bodies/brains are. Studies show that factors like genetics only make up 10% of our skin aging, for example. If you have “good genes” this can affect how fast or slow your age.
However, outside factors play a bigger role. These include ones like diet, exercise, stress, sleep, and the environment. These are factors that we can generally control, although sometimes there are factors that we can’t like air pollution caused by a factory or highway near our homes.
Even the approach to tracking biological age differs. For example, today scientists generally focus on things like how well a person’s tissues, organs, and systems function. One of the main focuses of the anti-aging industry has been on skin health. That includes body, hands, face, neck, and under-eye skin.
However, other scientists have been focusing on the importance of cells. This involves keeping more of them healthy longer to keep everything working smoothly. The theory is that this is a better approach because the whole body is made up of trillions of cells.
Besides having different theories and approaches to aging, some research shows that simply thinking about it matters. Some research thinking about aging can affect different things like diet, organs, and even lifespan.
Why Aging Matters
1. Positive about personal aging
Studies show this can happen when we think about aging positively. This can provide various benefits in how well the body functions. Studies show the improvements are about 30%.
2. Driving more safely
This might be surprising but studies show that if you have a negative view of aging you’re more likely to drive unsafely. This is likely due to not thinking about our well-being.
It seems that thinking about aging positively can help people live an average of 7.5 years longer versus those who view it negatively. In other words, how we view aging can affect how fast we age ourselves.
4. Better health
When people think positively about aging they often eat healthily, prevent illnesses, and take care of themselves better. This can help a person to grow old gracefully instead of growing old before their time.
5. Bad handwriting
This might be a surprising one. Studies show that when we have a negative view about aging it can affect our penmanship and cause us to have sloppy handwriting.
6. Memory/brain function
People’s memory and brain function seem to be better when they have a positive view of aging. Negative views have the opposite effect, which is something people should avoid.
7. Continual growth
Thinking about aging can help to provide ways we can keep growing. This happens instead of aging faster. It affects health, income, hope, and other factors.
8. Worse heart health
This is due to higher stress levels when we think about aging negatively. It even happens if we don’t think about it.
9. Injury/disability recovery
Studies show that if you view aging positively you have a 44% higher chance of recovering fully from a disability. It’s about the power of positive thinking.
Why Aging Matters: Ways To Improve Beliefs about Aging
1. Exercise regularly
Studies show that people have a more positive view of their particular age if they exercise regularly. This is likely related to their bodies looking and feeling better.
2. Be around people who view aging positively
This is a good approach. Another one is to avoid people who view it negatively. The old saying “Birds of a feather flock together” certainly holds once again. It’s simply not worth causing your health/happiness to decline because the people around you have a negative view about aging or life in general.
3. Focus on what you CAN do
When we grow older it can be easy to focus on the things we can’t do due to our age. However, the key is to find new things to experience and learn. That can help to make the aging process a positive experience.
4. Don’t blame experiences on age
For example, many people blame their memory problems on age. However, in many cases, it’s caused by things like not focusing or multi-tasking. So it’s important to be realistic about why you’ve forgotten something.
Indeed, people’s brain function isn’t as sharp as they age. However, this doesn’t mean you should blame your age for not staying focused.
5. Think about aging’s benefits
We often think of aging as a “bad” thing. However, there can be positive parts of aging. However, we won’t know them if we don’t read and learn about what they’re all about.
There’s no question that the aging process can cause some challenges and tough times. However, the key is to stay focused and focus on the positive aspects of growing older.
6. Stop watching TV/comedies
Isn’t laughter the best medicine? A 2005 study showed that the more TV a person watched the greater chance they’d view aging negatively. This seems to be partly due to few seniors being on TV shows, which shows why aging matters.