Your choice: You can change your mind about old age and improve your life

People’s beliefs about aging have a profound effect on their health, diverting everything from their memory and emotional awareness of how well they are going, how they can live healthily. and from sickness without blemish, and how long shall they live?

When old age is perceived as poor knowledge (expressed by terms such as decrepit, incompetent, dependent, and senile), people are more likely to be overweight later in life and lose weight. often in health activities such as physical activity. When thoughts are good (signified by words like wisdom, alertness, fulfillment, and reasoning), people are stronger and more resilient and live strong lives.

These inner beliefs about old age are largely ignorant, established from childhood when we receive messages about growing up from TV, movies. , books, advertisements, and popular culture. They are different from each other, and they are different from the racism and discrimination against the elderly in the world.

More than 400 scientific studies have shown the effect of each person’s attitude towards aging. Now, the question is whether people can change these unseen perceptions about the growth of old age and take more power over them.

In her new book, “Breaking the Age Code: How Your Beliefs About Aging Determine How Long and Well You Live,” Becca Levy of Yale University, a leading professor on the subject, discusses what we can. “With the right mindset and tools, we can change our beliefs over the years,” he said in the book’s introduction.

Levy, a specialist in psychology and epidemiology, has shown that in many studies showing people positive definitions of aging can improve their memory, mobility, balance, but live. We all have “a special time to rethink what it means to be old,” he writes.

These days, I asked Levy to explain what people can do to change beliefs about aging. Our conversation, below, is arranged for length and clarity.

Becca Levy poses for the photo with her arms crossed.
Becca Levy, a professor at Yale University, studies how our beliefs about aging relate to physical and mental health.(Julia Gerace)

Question: How important are age beliefs, compared to other beliefs about aging?

In a previous study, we found that people with good age beliefs lived longer – a median of 7.5 new years – compared with people with bad age beliefs. Compared to other factors that contribute to longevity, age -related factors have a greater impact than high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, and smoking.

N: Do you think that age beliefs can change. What about?

That is one of the hopes of my research. Even in a culture like ours, where age is believed to be negative, there are all sorts of responses to aging. What we have shown is that good age beliefs can be reinforced and reinforced by people in many different ways.

Question: What projects do you envision?

The first thing we can do is share the knowledge of our own age.

An easy way is to ask yourself, “When you think of an old man, what are the five or the first words that come to your mind?” Identifying immediate beliefs is an important first step in learning.

Question: What else can people do to increase awareness?

Another powerful technology is what I call “the year of the newspaper idea.” It involves writing a picture of an old man who will grow up in less than a week. It might be a conversation you hear in a copy shop or something on social media or on your favorite show on Netflix. If there are no seniors, write down as well.

At the end of the week, count the number of good and bad pictures and how many times the old people didn’t leave the conversation. Without good descriptions, take a moment and think, “Would it be any different to get that person?”

N: What’s next?

Find out how ageism and age beliefs work in society. Turn the fault where it needs to be.

In the book, I think I think about something that happened to an old man who was bullied by an old man – and then go back and ask someone else.

For example, when the elderly are forgotten, they are often blamed on the elderly. But there are many reasons why people don’t remember something. They may have had trouble hearing the information. Otherwise they would be in trouble. It’s impossible to remember anything every year.

Unfortunately, there is a tendency to blame the elderly rather than looking at other reasons for their appearance or condition.

N: You encourage people to challenge bad age beliefs in public.

Yes. In the book, I show 14 bad age beliefs and the science to end them. And I encourage knowledge about that research.

For example, it is generally believed that older people do not help the community. But we know from research that seniors can innovate and make philanthropic gifts. The effort gets stronger with age. Seniors often work or volunteer in positions to give a lot of lessons. And they want to engage in heritage, with a desire to create a better world for future generations.

In my own case, if I hear something about it, I often need to take the time to think of a positive answer. And that’s good. You can go back to someone and say, “I thought about what you said the other day. And I don’t know if you know this, but research shows that’s not the case.

N: One of the things you’re talking about is creating a portfolio of good examples. What do you think of that?

Take a look at the beautiful pictures of the old man. There are people you know, people in the book, people you have learned about writing, history – they come from many different sources.

I think to start with five good pictures. In each case, think about the qualities you admire or want to strengthen yourself. Maybe someone has a sense of humor. One can focus on resolving conflicts and connecting people. Some people have a better job position or a better path to social justice. Different people can have different strengths that can make us strong.

N: You also think about fostering relationships between generations.

We know from research that age can improve faith. A start is to think about your five partners and their age. In my case, I know most of my friends are in my two years. If so, think of ways to get to know people of other ages through a dance floor, a book club, or a political party. Seeing older people at work allows us to put an end to negative age beliefs.

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