…it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Ph.D., in her published article, Fulfillment at Any Age, Psychology Today, June 23, 2012. She writes that age is not a number; Whitbourne’s article describes psychological age as two functions of cognitive abilities: learning and memory and the emotional ability to cope. As we age we become more accepting, have better control over our anger and can see the good in a bad situation—older adults are wiser. Memory loss, the other cognitive function, is a label that the “social clock” stamps on us which we accept and it then becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Once you tell yourself you are forgetful all the time, you will become forgetful all the time. “I’m having a senior moment!” should not be part of your vocabulary, if you want to be younger. Declines in processing new information and our reaction times can be slower, yet aerobic capacity can be increased by exercise–pushing more oxygen to the brain. We have learned that with regular exercise both our biological and psychological age can slow down.
Dr. Whitbourne goes on to say, “Being able to subtract a few years from this subjective age, taking the age that you feel, may actually buy you a few more objective years of healthy and productive life.” This is my feeling exactly. If we focus on our limitations we become limited. I think we need to forget what the calendar says and pick the age that you feel and become that age.