A recent study highlights the mind’s powerful effect on health. It shows that when older people feel younger and less stressed, they have better functional health.
The work was published by the American Psychological Association and indicates that outlook may help act as a buffer for the damaging effects of stress.
It’s easy to associate chronological aging with health implications. Years of living can catch up with you, and for some, it is a dreaded reality. But research shows that those who accept age as little more than a number fare much better as the year’s pass.
Looking at age as a limiting factor may speed up the aging process and turn fears into fruition. That could be due to stress about aging.
The study found that people who reported more stress in their lives had a steeper decline in functional health over a three-year reporting period, and the correlation was strongest among older participants. The ages included in the 5,000-person study were 40 and older.
Participants were surveyed with questions about the amount of perceived stress in their lives and functional health. They were also asked how old they felt.
Researchers identified stress as a risk factor for declining health, and that stress management and improved outlook may help preserve better health.
Multiple studies have shown that how people think about age can influence health and well-being. The fact seems to be that regardless of the number of years a person has been alive, “behaving” or thinking young can make a difference.
Biological age is not assigned to chronological age; the two can exist completely separately. Keeping your mind and body engaged as you get older, as you may have in your 20s, 30s, and 40s may help stave off the conditions you’re most afraid of.
Having a positive view of aging can help limit stress and promote better health in a variety of ways.
Try and remember the phrase “age ain’t nothing but a number” and do your best to live your life to the fullest.