David Robson reports in the New Scientist that our attitudes can have a major impact on how our bodies fare as we grow older. Overall people who view ageing positively live 7.5 years longer than those who associate it with fragility and senility.

Becca Levy at the Yale School of Public Health studied the impact of positive-age related words on a group of people aged between 61 and 99, while they played a computer game. At the same time as playing the game, words such as ‘wise’, ‘mature’ and ‘experienced’ flashed momentarily on the screen. Although the participants were unaware of the words, their perceptions of ageing and physical wellbeing significantly improved after just four sessions. What is even more astounding is that the benefits, which included increased mobility, surpassed those from a six-month physical exercise programme.

By opening up to the possibility that we can choose our mindset we can make all the difference to our health, wellbeing and longevity. Remember ‘What we think is what we get!’

New Scientist 25 Aug 2018 p29-32