Age Is A State of Mind

The key to better health, life satisfaction, and aging gracefully is a youthful outlook.

I turned 59 this week, which means that I’m in my 60th year.  A friend recently told me that I’m at the end of my young middle years.

I flinched when she said that and said to myself, “I don’t have to buy that.”

Then I thought about it and decided why would I want to attach to that thought and feel bad?  Why would I want to argue with reality? Why would I want to create resistance in my mind about age and suffer?

So what if I am at the end of my younger middle years?  I can be a hip chrone!  Would you like to join me in this revolution?

I will not let my age define me.

I will not feel bad about my age.

I will not let my age stop me from doing what I want.

Who I am is different from how old I am.

I had a great role model to show me how to age with grace.  My grandmother “Nana” was 101 ¼ when she passed away last March.  She lived at home all her life except for the last six months, which she spent in a nursing home.

Nana never had surgery or died her hair, and she prided herself on her independence and her spirit.  She didn’t like to hang around ‘old’ people who talked about their age and their health issues.  She didn’t have time for that.  She played pool, did road trips with her younger second husband, was band leader in her own band, and finally stopped bowling at the ripe age of 95.

She died with a mind as sharp as a tack and a worn out body.   She never let her age define her.

How Old Do You Feel?

Scientists would say that Nana’s cognitive age was different from her biological ageCognitive age is the age you feel.

In a 2009 study called “Marketing to Seniors: Age Really is a State of Mind,” researchers found that seniors who are psychologically younger have more positive attitudes toward life satisfaction and aging than those who are cognitively older.  

Cognitive age is the age you feel and that has been scientifically measured.  It’s a good predictor of self-concepts, attitudes and behavior.

People with a younger outlook than their actual age experienced:

  • Better health
  • Life satisfaction
  • Attitudes toward aging
  • A higher level of activities and participation in organizations.

The age you feel (cognitive age) is a good predictor of self-concepts, attitudes and behavior.

Nana’s Bible was given to me after she passed away.  Inside was a glimpse of her spirit —  two tattered pieces of paper.  They were Psalm’s she kept that gave her life meaning.   One was Life’s Seasons, Psalms 71:6, and “The Best Age –They shall still bear fruit in old age.”

We’re all aging.   And the word ‘aging’ strikes fear into our minds.  So what are you going to do?  Are you going to deny your right to a happy, active life as you age?  Are you going to buy into cultural stereotypes of being old and cast out of the way as we get older?

If you are like me, then you want to take care of your body, live your life with passion and zest for learning new things, and make sure you do what you love.  And hang around people who inspire you to be the best person you can be.

And take a path down self-realization avenue.  It’s the way to get free from thoughts that hold you back or limit your life.

You have a choice, you can watch other people live full vital lives or you can sit on the sideline of your life and watch.  I choose to fully show up and participate.  I want to get as much experience out of living this life as I possibly can.

I dare you to show up in your life!  Start today.

Send me your thoughts or comments about aging.  I double dog dare you!

The paper “Assessing the nomological validity of a cognitive age segmentation of Japanese seniors” by Tom Barry of SMU Cox and Stuart Van Auken was just published in Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics.