The Key to Longevity May Be Simpler Than You Think

New research suggests that feeling younger may actually help you live longer.

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Viewers Share Their Age-Defying Secrets (3:05)

New research suggests that your subjective age may be just as important for your health as your chronological age. Postdoctoral psychology researcher, Jennifer Bellingtier, investigated this phenomenon by conducting a survey involving 116 adults, ages 60 to 90, and 106 adults, ages 18 to 36. Over a period of nine days, the participants were asked how old and how in-control of their life they felt. Both groups expressed a feeling of change in their subjective age each day. However, in the older group the changes of subjective age were correlated with feeling a sense of control and in the younger group, the changes were linked to health and stress levels. 

Bellingtier told TIME, “The power of feeling in-control may be two-fold. When you feel more controlled, you feel younger, and then you feel like you can accomplish more things.” This sense of empowerment may boost mental health and motivate a person to make healthy choices. It is important for older people to feel that their actions matter and this can be supported by environmental and internal changes. Other research studies have also found that physical activity and social interaction are associated with a lower subjective age for elderly people. All in all, age is just a number and how old you feel depends on a variety of factors that are fortunately fluid and manageable.  

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