Those of us lucky enough to grow old must contend with the miserable stereotypes of what it’s like: the frailty, the forgetfulness, the early bird specials.
But in aging, as in many things, attitude can make all the difference. Research has shown that how people feel inside, and their expectations of their capabilities, can have a greater impact on health, happiness and even longevity than the date on their birth certificates.
In her seminal “counterclockwise” study, in 1979, Harvard University psychologist Ellen Langer brought men in their 70s and 80s to a weeklong retreat that was retrofitted, from the music to the newspapers, to look and feel like 1959. One group of men was told to reminisce about the era. The other group was told to let themselves be who they were 20 years earlier.
Read the whole story: Chicago Tribune