What allows one at 60 to remain young, and the other at 23 to become “old”?
There is nothing easier than determining the chronological age: you just open the passport and see the date of birth. However, the “passport” and biological age for most people diverge. What to say about the psychological age – it can not only differ from the first two, but also challenge them.
Psychological age is the self-perception of a person and his self-consciousness, his behavior and his internal state. Together, all this greatly affects the biological age. In other words, the way we perceive and feel ourselves largely determines our health, our activity, and our appearance.
So what allows some women to remain young at 60, and others at 23 to become “aunts”?
“Genetics is very important,” say researchers of the phenomenon of long-livers. “But a healthy lifestyle is more important,” say statistics and life experience. “Argue as much as you want,” WHO could say, “but the fact remains: humanity as a whole has begun to live longer, which means it’s time to recognize changes in the age classification.”
According to the latest WHO data, today the so-called “young age” lasts from 25 to 44 years. So if you are 40 and you have been called the “girl”, do not be embarrassed – all according to the classification! Further, from 44 to 60 years old, a modern person remains in middle age, from 60 to 75 years old – in the elderly, and only at the age of 75 – 90 years old age begins. Those who are over 90 – WHO calls long-lived.
These colossal shifts in chronological age occurred literally in the last 100–200 years, since as early as the beginning of the 19th century, a man or a woman at the age of 35–40 were considered deep old men. And, of course, it influenced self-perception, lifestyle and behavior.
But does today’s lengthening of chronological life mean an automatic extension of psychological and biological youth? Not always. Our psychology, internal attitudes and attitudes towards life interfere in the first place, to remain young in body and soul at 60.
Markers of psychological old age
The main hypothesis, on the research of which billions of dollars have been spent, says: it is the brain that determines the speed of our aging. Nature has disposed in such a way that the form is supported by the organism for which this form is really important.
What does it mean? At the beginning of life, the brain is very busy: it knows the world, helps a person to know himself, to find his place, to understand the laws of life. The whole body is included in these processes and works at the limit of possibilities.
But as soon as the world becomes uninteresting to you, as soon as you stop asking questions, learn, expand your competencies, learn, as soon as you isolate yourself from all sorts of activities, then old age begins.
Over the ways of counteracting biological old age, the symptoms of which are well known, the best minds of mankind are beating and not without success. Psychological old age also has clear, though not so obvious, markers and its own “retardants”.
1. Relationship with time
The first sign of psychological old age is the feeling that the most important, interesting, disturbing events of your life have happened in the past. That in the future nothing important will happen and nothing should start. Psychologically, the old man lives with memories, the young with his plans. In the West, it is accepted at the age of 50 or even 60 years to go to university, start a new business, learn dancing, plan amazing journeys and lead an active sex life. And, of course, for all this you need to be healthy, energetic and attractive, that is, to support biological youth! And if there is such a need, the brain gives the command to the body – to stay in shape!
We have heard from a 30-year-old client that she “will live and so” because a man has abandoned her and she will not meet another one. Pessimism, a sense of hopelessness, a lack of plans, endless grinding of memories are all markers of psychological old age and its catalysts.
Accordingly, to prolong the psychological youth, the first recipe is make plans, live for the future and strive to grow. To be optimistic about your future, that is, to believe that a lot of good and important things in life are still ahead is crucially important in order to remain young.
2. Attitude to its limitations
Psychologically, a young man believes in his strength and capabilities. He understands that all the beautiful and important things that can be realized in life are his sphere of influence, the degree of which depends only on the desire of the subject and the choice of methods of action. Psychological old age, on the contrary, is very connected with the feeling of being limited and self-pity: “I will never be able to dive 100 meters or jump with a parachute – the strength is not the same!”. However, the fact of the matter is that young people do not need to be young! You should not pretend that you are 20, if you are 50, and overstrain the body physically. Excessiveness is stress, and stress is a major factor in aging. Yes, over the years, we really have a lot more physical limitations, but they are associated only with our biological age. Acknowledging this, psychologically, a young man reasons like this: “Yes, I cannot do what I could at 20. But I now have so many new opportunities, abilities, and skills!”.
To open up new opportunities, new joys inherent in this particular period of life, it is wise to relate to the resources of the body, to be sensitive to your needs and limitations – it is these attitudes that prolong psychological youth for decades.
Set yourself challenging creative tasks, “shake up” your neurons, learn languages, travel, do what you can do: it is proved that with age creative efficiency increases and in some areas you can easily outperform a 20-year-old!
3 The degree of development of emotional competence
Another marker of youth associated with a developed brain and the ability to quickly adapt to stressful situations is emotional competence. It is about our ability to control our emotions that develop during our life, “not to wind ourselves up”, to create meaningful emotional connections with others, to see good in the world around us and not to lose our sense of humor.
In other words, emotional competence is our ability to take the place of other people, feel grateful and calmly endure different life situations. Modern science and thousands of years of wisdom proved that grateful and happy people live longer and look more beautiful. This is due to a number of hormonal and neurochemical processes that cause the specific mobility of the facial muscles and skin structure: cheerful and grateful other facial expressions, they have different facial folds, they have fewer wrinkles, which are commonly called "senile"!
In a word, plan and open new pages of your life, believe in yourself and make full use of the available resource, learn to manage emotions, give thanks for what is and enjoy life. These rules are always relevant and guaranteed to extend the psychological, and therefore biological youth, and give fullness of life.