If you're on social media, you've probably seen those quizzes that
calculate your "mental age," or how old you act compared to
your actual age. While the quizzes generally aren't scientific, but
rather a fun way to pass five minutes, feeling younger than your age can
have health benefits. Recent studies have shown that there can be an association
between feeling young at heart and having a lower risk of hospitalization
or mortality compared to same-age peers. If you want to shave a few years
off your metaphorical age, here are some easy tips:
1. Don't be afraid to be silly. Tell corny jokes, laugh at comedies, dance around the house, play tag
with your children or grandchildren. Letting loose is a great stress buster--they
say "laughter is the best medicine" for a reason.
2. Stay connected. Whether it's a spouse, your children, friends or neighbors, maintaining
close relationships benefits your physical, mental and emotional health,
studies say. So make time for date nights, dinner parties or phone calls
with loved ones who live far away.
3. In with the new. It's easy to get stuck in a rut with your daily routines. But breaking
out and learning a new skill can help improve brain function. If you've
been meaning to learn how to paint, speak Italian, or play the guitar,
go for it--it's good for you.
4. Pay it forward. Volunteering has mental and physical health benefits, from warding off
depression to lowering blood pressure. You can also make social connections
while working with others for a worthy cause. And, of course, you're
helping to make the world a better place by giving of yourself to others.
5. Think young. Research has shown that people who feel younger than their age act that
way--in other words, it's a self-fulfilling prophecy. Don't put
limits on yourself and instead stay open to the world around you with
a positive mindset. You're only as young as you feel.
What makes you feel young? Share a comment with us.
This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical
care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.