For most people, living a long, fulfilling, and healthy life is the goal. A new book focusing on the psychology of aging makes the claim that if you have a positive mindset about growing older, you could add up to seven years to your total lifespan. Maintaining a positive mindset about aging can do even more good for your longevity than taking other recommended steps, like lowering your blood pressure, cutting your cholesterol, or losing weight.
The recently released book, entitled Breaking the Age Code, provides hope for those who might feel discouraged about getting older. It also provides a framework both individuals and society can adapt to eliminate misconceptions about getting older, arguing that genetics are not necessarily fate and you can make physical accomplishments even in old age.
An article published by The Wall Street Journal drew some points from this book, one being that negative thoughts can affect the physical health of older people. For example, those who have more positive age beliefs tend to take their prescribed medications, eat a healthier diet, and stay more active. By strengthening positive age belief, most people also have lower levels of stress biomarkers, as well as higher levels of self-efficacy and overall wellbeing.
In this new book, the author also challenges assumptions about old people and memory. Some studies show that metacognition and vocabulary can actually improve later in life and that the idea of having “senior moments” is merely a myth.
With age comes wisdom, and those who are getting older would be wise to remember that their beliefs about aging can affect their ability to live a happy and health life in their golden years.