Did you know that your attitude about aging can have a bigger influence on your longevity than lowering your blood pressure or cholesterol?
That day we placed grocery bags on our heads (pictured above) and pronounced them “stunning” is a case in point. It was a cold rainy day which instantly turned sunny when we were together.
I’ve suspected the truth of this statement for a while now and since I’m just coming off a “Class of 65 Saturday”, I feel like I need to find some bubble gum and blow a big one! (Above, Olivia is involved in a little Fifties Foolery while the rest of us tried out some table dancing.)
In her book “Counterclockwise”, Dr. Ellen Langer demonstrates how our minds can undo old worn out ideas and manifestations of the aging process. To prove her theory, she took 16 men in their late 70s and 80s to join a study of “reminiscing:. She converted an old monastery into a 1959 themed retreat – complete with old “Sports Illustrated” magazines (no doubt including the swim suit edition), movies and music from the era.
The control group was asked to spend a week simply recalling their youth – speaking and behaving as if they were 20 years younger. (Beth and Hazel demonstrate above.) Our gang, composed of 1965 graduates of West Point High School, has been doing this for the past 15 years and I’m betting we are physiologically and psychologically younger than the poor folks who had to grow up somewhere else.
Langer’s study indicated that reliving their past improved the mens’ height, weight, gait and posture and even their arthritis diminished. All these results were achieved after just one week. Makes you wonder: If the mind has that much power over the body in such a short period of time, what else is possible?
So, we CAN reset our clocks. My tribe did just that yesterday at Ruthie’s. Sitting around her kitchen table, nine women and one brave man (thanks Al) relived our collective past while eating the best brownie’s ever created. It was 1965 again, and I reluctantly returned to my normal life a changed woman.
After spending Saturday with my high school pals, I’m pretty sure I was was walking a little taller, and that hitch in my “giddy up” completely disappeared. Take what you can from this, but I suggest you call a friend from your past and do a little reminiscing when the “feebles” try to invade your body.