Attitude Is Everything
I’ve always thought of myself as being twenty years younger than my actual chronological age. I think I started thinking this way gradually in my 30’s. I don’t really act twenty years younger than I really am, at least I hope I don’t. That’s why I was so fascinated buy the Ellen Langer’s study we described in the last posting. What you think does make a difference in how you age, not only mentally, but also physically.
There is also an ongoing study being conducted at Leisure World, in Orange County, CA. It is a study that was reported recently on 60 Minutes, Back in the 1980’s, a large sample of data was collected on about 5000 people. Everything, from what they ate to what vitamins they took were recorded. And then gradually the prorated data just collected dust. That is, until a local medical doctor found the data, got a grant, and followed up on those who were still alive in 2014. Almost 80% of them were subjects in the original study and who were now in their 90’s.
As this doctor compared the 1980’s data with the subjects current mental and physical health status, she found that a number of factors we think are important as we age appeared to be irrelevant. For the nearly 4000 subjects, it didn’t matter what kind of diet they ate, wether they took vitamins or not, or how much alcohol they drank. What did matter was their attitude about life, and their activity level. These people in their 90’s were very much alive and active.
Those who are participating in the current study have all agreed that at their death an autopsy would be performed and their brains would be studied. One man who recently died was fully functional right up to his death at age 95. Mentally, he was sharp and his memory was excellent. After his death, when they examined his brain, they found that his brain looked just like someone who suffered from a severe case of alzheimer’s disease. But there was no evidence of this disease in the man’s behaviors. What the current study is saying is that attitude is everything!
Another recent study gave subliminal messages to a group of 100 adults over the age of 60. Some messages were positive about aging, while other messages were just neutral. The conscious mind does not see these messages, but they register in the subconscious mind. Three weeks later, the subjects who saw the positive messages felt better about aging, and did better than those who received the neutral messages on several physical tests.
So as the years slip by, and you, like all of us, get older, think young, stay active and live life fully everyday!
Question: I don’t know about you, but I get great encouragement from these studies.