Age might just be a state of mind. Consider the "counterclockwise" study in 1981, which placed 8 men in their 70s into a 5-day time warp. They lived like it was actually 1959. They stayed in a house "set" in the 1950s, complete with Ed Sullivan on black-and-white TV, Perry Como on a vintage radio, and “current” magazines and books lying around--as well as portraits of their younger selves. There were no mirrors. The men used the present tense to discuss events, sports, and movies from the '50s. After 5 days, the men showed remarkable improvements in mental and physical health compared to a control group. The young researcher, Ellen Langer, decided not to publish the results because the sample size was so small and the results so unbelievable. But she went on designing experiments that showed people's mindset could impact their health. Elderly people aged more slowly when given the responsibility of caring for a house plant. Women's blood pressure dropped after having hair cuts they thought made them look younger. House cleaners lost significantly more weight after being told their work was a form of serious exercise. So in 2010 she recreated the "counterclockwise" experiment, this time as a reality TV show--the results were remarkably positive once again. Amazing!
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New York Times: "What if age is nothing but a mindset?"