There are three constants in life: death, taxes and ageing (for all of us except J-Lo, obvs). But according to new research, there could be a way to stay young forever…
Feel in control.
Jennifer Bellingtier, a postdoctoral psychology researcher at Friedrich Schiller University in Germany followed 116 adults aged 60-90 and 106 adults aged 18-36 for a period of nine days. Each day, she asked the participants how old they felt and how in-control of their life and actions they were.
Both groups reported fluctuations in their subjective age; for the younger group, this was mostly linked to health and stress, whereas for the older group, it directly correlated with a sense of control.
“On days when you felt above your average control perceptions – you felt more controlled for you – you tended to feel younger,” Bellingtier explained of the findings.
This sense of control can be affected by a heap of factors - be it choosing a book to read or simply deciding when/where we sit down to eat. And for older adults, Bellingtier believes the benefits are two-fold: it keeps the memory sharp and, in turn, gives us more energy to make healthy choices (such as exercising and eating right.)
“When you feel more controlled, you feel younger and then you feel like you can accomplish more things,” Bellingtier added. “You feel like your actions matter.”