Thu 4 Dec, 2008 11:01 am
Older people tend to feel about 13 years younger than their chronological age, a new study finds.
The seniors in the study, all 70 and over, also thought they looked about 10 years younger than their numerical age, with women perceiving their appearances to be closer to their actual age than men.
"People generally felt quite a bit younger than they actually were, and they also showed relatively high levels of satisfaction with aging over the time period studied," said researcher Jacqui Smith, a psychologist at the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research.
She added, "Perhaps feeling about 13 years younger is an optimal illusion in old age."
The results, which will be published in a forthcoming issue of the Journals of Gerontology: Psychological Science, have implications beyond the psychological. Past research has shown that feeling youthful is linked with better health and longer life, the researchers say.
Smith and her colleagues analyzed information collected from surveys of 516 men and women age 70 and older who participated in the Berlin Aging Study. The survey tracked how seniors' perceptions about age and their satisfaction with aging changed over a six-year period ending in 1998.
I enjoy not being on the emotional roller coaster common to those in their 20's, 30's, 40's. I look forward to good things just as much, I love just as passionately, and experience hope, concern, fear, expectation, desire for meaning, striving for excellence etc. as much as I ever did. Creativity, having fun, learning new things etc. are all as important as they ever were.
I don't see a woman of my age when I look in the mirror however. And I don't feel an old woman's brain in my head. Nevertheless, my body frequently reminds me that I am a woman of my age. The thing I resent most is that I don't have the stamina I had 30 years ago.
And I no longer feel immortal. Time is finite and I sometimes have to consciously fight the impulse to not try because there might not be enough years left. I accept that some opportunity once available to me has passed on to the younger generatons. Nevertheless, I refuse to be be useless and as long as there is a will, I still can be useful even as I appreciate the license to choose more what I decide to do on any given day.
I tried to feel someone thirteen years younger than my age and I got into big trouble.
Oh, wait a minute...
I can still do most things I used too, only there are things I used to do I have no desire to do..The trouble is they all take Longer, way longer and I forget (deny) that and I promise too much (at work, to family) There are just not enough hours in a day. I think this is one reason we think "time flies" when in reality it just takes us longer to perform our daily functions. See I did not used to spend so much time looking for my glasses before I wore any
I KNOW--it's not just a feeling-- I can outwork a man TWICE my age.
My standard boast.
Cute. I'll have to remember that.
I must be about 83, then, cuz I really feel about 70.
You need a burst balloon and an empty honey jar.
And a thistle.
And a thistle. As usual. . . .