What is Pro-Ageing and how can it help ?
We believe the way you perceive ageing can actually influence your overall wellbeing, health and in fact how you age.
Ageing, like many aspects of life is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Positive and negative attitudes can affect your health behaviourally, psychologically and even biologically. Being ''pro-ageing", or satisfied with your own ageing, can make you adopt healthier behaviours, feel in control of how you age and even heighten your immune system. Being "anti-ageing", or perceiving ageing negatively, can do the opposite.
Here at Science To Skin we are very much pro-ageing, we abhor how the media (especial social media) and indeed the beauty industry refers to "anti-ageing" with airbrushed filtered imagery and unachievable promises of effectiveness. Ageing is a natural process we should embrace, in terms of skincare its like any other organ, the focus should be to keep it healthy with the right nutrition and with positivity.
Here are 5 powerful benefits of "pro-age" thinking, according to Dr. Sharon Horesh Bergquist.
(Rollins Senior Distinguished Clinician, Master Clinician and Assistant Professor of Medicine).
It can help you live longer. In 2001, USA researchers from Yale and Harvard University looked at 660 participants between the ages of 50 and 80 who participated in a community-based survey, the Ohio Longitudinal Study of Ageing and Retirement. They measured how self-perception of ageing impacted survival over the course of 22.6 years. They found that participants who held a more positive attitude about their own ageing -- such as continuing to feel useful and happy -- lived, on average, 7.5 years longer. In fact, they found that perception of ageing influenced longevity even more than blood pressure, cholesterol, body mass index, or a person's tendency to exercise.
It can reduce disability. Loss of independence is among the greatest fears most people have about getting older. Staying physically and cognitively active can defend against disability. Yet less emphasized is the role of your belief about your own ageing. In a study published in the Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, participants in the Ohio Longitudinal Study of Ageing and Retirement who held a positive self-perception of ageing had a greater ability to carry out daily activities over an 18-year period, regardless of their functional health at the start of the study.
It can help you practice prevention. Preventive habits have been proven to continually improve health and quality of life at every age, yet older adults are less likely to engage in preventive behaviors. Misconceptions about ageing, such as believing that heart disease is inevitable, can weaken the motivation to follow a preventive lifestyle. Similarly, a negative perception of ageing may adversely influence your habits. In a 2004 study, the participants in the Ohio Longitudinal Study of Ageing and Retirement who had more positive perceptions of ageing were significantly more likely to have physical exams, eat a balanced diet, exercise and take prescriptions as directed over a 20-year period
It can boost your memory. Be careful what you think. According to The Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Ageing, the longest-running study of memory and ageing, expecting memory decline can actually contribute to memory loss over time. Over a 38-year period, participants 60 years of age and older who held more negative stereotypes of cognitive ageing had a 30.2% greater decline in memory performance than those who held less negative stereotypes about memory and ageing.
It can help your heart. Lastly, believing in negative age stereotypes can increase your risk of heart disease. When negative stereotypes are formed early in life, they can have a profound impact on health decades later. In a study from participants in the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Ageing, young adults who held negative age stereotypes were significantly more likely to experience a cardiovascular event over the next 38 years. However, by making a significant positive change in their stereotype of ageing, of two standard deviations on an administered age-stereotype scale, these young adults could reduce their risk of experiencing a cardiovascular event by 80%.
The Psychological Path to Ageing Gracefully
You can begin shaping your self-prophecy of how you will age by becoming aware of your current perception and internalized expectations about ageing. How do you picture ageing? Do you anticipate wisdom or senility? Do you envision vivacity or debility?Looking and feeling young as you age begins with believing you can look and feel young as you age.That isn't always easy.
Western cultural and religious roots of ageism are deeply entrenched both of which value youth by defining personal worth in terms of active engagement in work. We're all working for longer right ? Adopting more of an Eastern mindset can help redirect your prophecy. Buddhist, Confucian and Taoist philosophical traditions value old age as a socially valuable part of life, even a time of "spring" or "rebirth."
Start determining your ageing prophecy today by celebrating and embracing each year, both for the triumphs and the hardships that it may bring and not about the way you look!