Saturday, February 6, 2010

Getting positively younger by the day

It's official! Reading RTBH slows the aging process! Well, not quite. But nearly. An article carried by the BBC today (and linked from the post title above) outlines research that appears to demonstrate that thinking positively, and specifically thinking and acting as you did in the past, can overcome some signs of aging. Harvard professor Ellen Langer's groundbreaking research was actually conducted in 1979, but was only partially reported, until now. Her experiments entailed building a 1950s-style enclave and allowing elderly men (in their 70s and 80s) to recreate their past - reminiscing, reliving old political and cultural deliberations, and generally acting as they had 20 years previously. The amazing thing was that, for many of the men, this went as far as jettisoning their walking sticks, cooking their own meals, and even playing touch football - they really did feel and act 20 years younger. It's the excuse for lifelong immaturity that many of us are no doubt looking for! But more seriously, it also adds some scientific weight to the adage that "you're only as old as you feel"...

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