Negative age stereotypes that we unconsciously assimilate as we age predict detrimental physical function. These negative self-perceptions become a self-fulfilling prophecy. I tune these out. How many times have I heard my girlfriends complain, “My mother was like that,” accepting it as fate. Why do we presume our senses, sexual desires, stamina, mental abilities and physical decline happens to everyone when they turn fifty? Who says that once we turn fifty we can’t get pregnant or at sixty we have to stop playing singles in tennis or at seventy we can’t take a bicycle tour of the South of France?
When I read the clinical studies by Ellen Langer, I saw this same connection between my guests at The Hidden Garden and her findings; if you tweak your mindset you can change your age. At fifty, this became my personal journey. Age is an attitude. If we allow the limits that society places on women and the stereotypes society unfairly labels us, we are actually aging faster and killing ourselves.
Twenty years later, I had to write this blog, it’s not magic. It’s psychology: change your mindset and change your age. And you can become ageless.