We’ve heard all the cliches about aging: “You’re as young [or old] as you feel.” “Age is just a number.” “You’re not getting older, you’re getting better.” “Seventy is the new 50.” Well-intentioned, perhaps. Offensive, to some. Patronizing, to be sure. But could they be true?
Maybe science has started to catch up with these tired phrases. Researchers have discovered that many people feel good about themselves as they get older.
One study, for example, found that as people get older, they consistently say they feel younger — much younger — than their actual age. Another study examining the attitudes of the offspring of centenarians concluded that the centenarians’ children — if they, too, were healthy and long-lived — have a strong sense of purpose and meaning to their lives, compared with the general population. Finally, there is evidence that positive attitudes about aging may reduce the risk of dementia, among the most dreaded consequences of aging.
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