- Today I took a test sponsored by RealAge.com. I suggest you give it a try. After you’ve finished, you click a button and it gives you your “Real Age” –biologically and emotionally speaking. I’m 63.8 which is disappointingly close to my calendar age.
Fiddle de sticks! I thought I would be around 48! The good thing is the test goes
on to tell you how to get your age down even lower. (I can lower my age by six months if I add 10 minutes to my morning walks and force myself to eat one more vegetable a day) You won’t be in high school again, but you could hit your 50s all over! Try it. You’ll learn some interesting things about yourself.
One of the recommendations for me – stemming from a questions regarding anxiety – was to repeat the following statement each morning or while driving around town, or pulling weeds, etc.
“I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and, gosh darn it, people like me.” Turns out a positive mantra like this is no joke. It might even be key to staying stress- and illness-free.
Yeah sure, I thought. Looking back, all those stupid affirmations I used to repeat back in the 80s, were a waste of time. But I guess it’s better than walking around with a long face saying “I don’t get no respect. Pool pitiful me!”
Yep. Real Age goes on to remind me that healthy self-esteem may help dampen the body’s stress response. That in turn can mean less wear and tear on the heart and immune system. Okay. I’m awesome – a wee little lie shouldn’t make my nose grow too long.
Note to Self: I Rock!
In the study, researchers measured how active the vagus nerve was in signaling the parasympathetic nervous system to slow heart rate. It turned out that people with high self-esteem tended to have a more active vagal signal pathway. And that’s a really positive thing for health, because it’s the opposite of the “fight or flight” stress response that causes so much wear on the body. A “slow down” signal means a calmer, more relaxed body response. (Wouldn’t a dry martini do the same thing?)
Lessons in Love
So, bottom line, loving yourself more may mean your body is armored against stress. And how, exactly, can you love yourself more? Let us count the ways: For starters, spend lots of time with supportive friends and family members. Research suggests that a supportive social network is good for self-esteem. You can also use positive self-talk to help yourself feel better.
Here’s a link you can try (if I did it right). Good luck. Hope you do better than I did.