Holding negative beliefs about aging can affect your aging experience. According to The Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging, if you believe your memory will decline as you get older, it will.
You can read about it here.
This study shows that the adverse influence of negative self-stereotypes on cognitive performance is not limited to a short-term laboratory effect. Rather, the findings demonstrate, for the first time, that stereotypes also predict memory performance over an extended period in the community.
In countries that do not have negative beliefs about aging, such as India and China, the elderly do not age related memory decline. Watch your thoughts and believe you will get better as you get older. It’s up to you!
Ellen Langer’s Counterclockwise book and study have been making the news recently. She is a Harvard psychology professor and an highly acclaimed award winning social scientist. She’s famous for a lot of things, however the counterclockwise study is really interesting because it shows we can reverse aging with our minds.
According to http://greatergood.berkeley.edu, Langer draws on her 30 years of pioneering mind-body research, including her 1979 “Counterclockwise” study in which eight elderly men lived in a residential retreat that recreated the social-physical environment of 1959. After one week sequestered in this virtual 20-year journey back in time, all eight participants showed marked improvements in their hearing, memory, dexterity, appetite, and general well-being. They even looked younger to outside observers who saw photos of them before and after the experiment.
Here’s youtube clip you may like:
“Notice new things,” she says and you will become engaged and enjoy many benefits in health and happiness.
If you like these ideas, you’ll like this ebook:
Understanding the malleable determinants of cellular aging is critical to understanding human longevity. Telomeres may provide a pathway for exploring this question. Telomeres are the protective caps at the ends of chromosomes. The length of telomeres offers insight into mitotic cell and possibly organismal longevity. Telomere length has now been linked to chronic stress exposure and depression. This raises the question of mechanism: How might cellular aging be modulated by psychological functioning? We consider two psychological processes or states that are in opposition to one another-threat cognition and mindfulness-and their effects on cellular aging. Psychological stress cognitions, particularly appraisals of threat and ruminative thoughts, can lead to prolonged states of reactivity. In contrast, mindfulness meditation techniques appear to shift cognitive appraisals from threat to challenge, decrease ruminative thought, and reduce stress arousal. Mindfulness may also directly increase positive arousal states. We review data linking telomere length to cognitive stress and stress arousal and present new data linking cognitive appraisal to telomere length. Given the pattern of associations revealed so far, we propose that some forms of meditation may have salutary effects on telomere length by reducing cognitive stress and stress arousal and increasing positive states of mind and hormonal factors that may promote telomere maintenance. Aspects of this model are currently being tested in ongoing trials of mindfulness meditation.
There are many scientific studies that show meditation increases circulating levels of the youth hormone DHEAS and lowers the stress hormone Cortisol.
I found one study on pub med that showed this effect and indicated it was independent of diet and exercise habits. You can find the study here.
Too much Cortisol ages your physical body and DHEAS keeps you young. Take time to meditate or visualize your intentions.
This ebook outlines a simple program you can follow to activate your mind’s ability to influence your body chemistry to create a state of lasting health, youth and beauty. It’s a simple idea leveraging things we already know about the power of the mind to regulate our hormone levels, muscle performance and immune system. Everyone knows about Norman Cousins and the power of laughter. Everyone knows about the use of mental imagery by elite athletes. Did you know that practicing a skill and mentally lifting weights will make your muscles stronger? Did you know you can secrete more testosterone by certain visualizations? This book gives you simple ideas you can use everyday for a week to align your mind with your body. Try it!
Available on Amazon.
DailyNudge.com is a website that provides a free affirmation reminder service. After you sign up you can send yourself regular (repeated) e-mails or text messages with your personal affirmation. Take frequent breaks during the day to become mindful and repeat your affirmations or visualizations. Be sure to provide feedback and check for updates often. Here’s a funny animation the creators of the site did for fun: