3 Fun Mind Hacks to Feel Younger and Sharpen Your Brain

People take supplements, carefully plan meals, and exercise to combat aging and live longer. However, researchers have found that mindset plays a significant role in how our bodies age. By making simple changes to our attitude, we can take charge of our mental and physical well-being. Let’s explore three strategies to have a younger mindset and, in turn, a younger body.

Dodge dementia with attitude adjustment

When you think about your chronological age, do you ever feel like you’re not that old? If so, that’s great! Embracing a younger attitude can help you fight off the effects of aging on your mental capacity.

Research from the University of Exeter in England shows that your attitude toward aging significantly impacts your vulnerability to dementia. The study revealed that seniors who see themselves as older are five times more likely to meet the criteria for dementia.

The researchers examined 68 participants ranging in age between 60 and 70 years old. The participants were primed to either feel older or younger than everyone else participating in the study. When shown a standard dementia screening test, 70% of people who viewed themselves as older were more likely to meet the criteria for dementia. In contrast, only 14% of those who saw themselves as younger met the criteria.

Catherine Haslam, a researcher from the University of Exeter, explains, “Our research shows that the effect of age perceptions on performance can be dramatic and that seeing oneself as ‘older’ significantly increases a person’s risk of being diagnosed with dementia on such tests.”

Don’t let stress prematurely age you

Stress can take a toll on your cellular DNA, speeding up the aging process. Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital found that phobic anxiety, a common form of stress, could shrink protective layers of DNA known as telomeres.

Telomeres are vital in aging research because their shortening as we age has been linked to heart problems, cancer, dementia, and shorter life expectancy. These DNA fragments cap chromosomes to protect them, like the plastic tip that shields the end of shoelaces.

Ron Glaser, a researcher at Ohio State, notes, “Every time a cell divides, it loses a little bit of its DNA at the ends, and over time, that can cause significant problems.”

The study highlights the connection between stress and premature aging, specifically through the impact on telomeres. Managing stress effectively is essential to maintaining a youthful mindset and body.

Reinforce the positive

Meditation can also help protect telomeres and reduce the effects of aging. Research by Clifford Saron of the University of California, Davis examines the connection between meditation and telomerase, an enzyme critical for the long-term health of cells, which rebuilds and lengthens telomeres.

Saron explains, “The take-home message from [our] work is not that meditation directly increases telomerase activity and therefore a person’s health and longevity. Rather, meditation may improve a person’s psychological well-being, and in turn these changes are related to telomerase activity in immune cells, which has the potential to promote longevity in those cells.”

Meditators experience greater perceived control, mindfulness, and purpose in life while enjoying reduced negative emotions. Engaging in activities to increase a sense of well-being can profoundly affect our physiological health.

By fostering a more youthful mindset, we can change the way our bodies age, preventing diseases and promoting longevity. The power to think ourselves young is possible – we just need the right attitude, stress management, and a positive outlook.