After the age of 25, most people think that they are younger than their actual age.

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Editor’s note: After the age of 25, most people think that they are younger than their actual age, and the gap between this “subjective age” and “actual age” will widen over time. People in 50 may be I feel like I am still in my 30s. Psychologically, I feel that being younger can bring many benefits, and even extend my life, but when I get older, I have to “conquer the old”, admit my physical changes, and take care of my health. This article is translated from Medium, author Robert Roy Britt, the original title is “Why Our Minds Never Catch Up With Our Bodies “, I hope to inspire you.

When I look in the mirror, the self in the mirror is much older than I thought. My brain stays at about 30 years old, which is 28 years away from reality. This is a strange feeling, I feel like a child. It turns out that I am not the only one like this. There is a term in science to describe this very common time distortion.

After the age of 25, most people think that they are younger than their actual age, and the gap between this “subjective age” and “actual age” will widen over time.

Michigan State University conducted a survey of 502,548 people between the ages of 10 and 89. The results showed that most people felt that they were about 20% younger than their actual age. People in their 50s generally feel that they are 40 in their hearts. This distorted view of aging has also affected our view of aging. The survey found that young people are more inclined to think that they are really getting old at 50, but people in their 50s will say that I am not old yet.

When you are young, you may think 50 years old is old, but when you really reach 50 years old, you will think 50 years old is not old. “When you get older yourself, the age you think you are old also changes,” said research leader William Chopik, PhD, an assistant professor of psychology at Michigan State University (Michigan State University). .

What are we thinking in our heads?

This distortion in the concept of time may be driven by the rate at which your brain and body age. A previous Korean study also found a similar conclusion. Scientists investigated the health and age of people aged 59-84, and then scanned the brain to look for signs of aging. The study found that subjectivePeople younger than their actual age score higher on memory tests, are less likely to show signs of depression, and have more gray matter in key parts of the brain. Research leader Jeanyung Chey of Seoul National University in South Korea said: “People who think they are young have the structural characteristics of a young brain.”

However, Chey and her colleagues speculated in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience that not everyone feels younger than their actual age. People who feel they are getting old may feel that their brains are aging. If this is true, then we should pay attention to lifestyle changes, such as improving diet and physical activity, and have a healthy mind.

The age of your self-recognition may be at least to some extent related to your lifespan. In one study, during an 8-year follow-up, people who felt they were younger than their actual age were less likely to die than people who felt they were older than their actual age. However, this study only found a correlation, not a causal relationship.

However, feeling that you are younger than your actual age is not just for those who are healthy. Elderly people with many diseases, even those suffering from chronic pain, tend to say that their subjective age is much younger than they actually are.

Lisa Carver, PhD, assistant professor at Queen’s University in Ontario, interviewed 66 Americans and Canadians between the ages of 65 and 90. Carver wrote: “Although some people are sick, more than half of the interviewees feel that they are at least 20 years younger than their actual age. Some people even say that they think they are only 17.”

Do you think your youth has any effect?

The subjective age is also affected by the development of the times: people nowadays live longer than previous generations, and because of more advanced medical treatment, older people live healthier and more active lives. In some countries, people don’t feel that they have a typical 65-year-old’s health problem until they are 76.

It seems that there is no harm in being young, but Carver believes that this also has a certain negative impact.

If people feel that they are younger than their actual age, they may be reluctant to save for retirement, and they may feel that they can continue to work after retirement. The adult children of the elderly are shocked that the older parents (or grandparents) always feel that they are still as strong as they were when they were young, and even want to ride a motorcycle.ride.

All of this better understands why I recently started mountain biking again-an activity that I enjoyed very much when I was young. This may also explain why I somehow fell from the car a few days ago and suffered multiple contusions on my limbs. Because I am not 30 years old anymore, I just stay in my mind when I am 30 years old.

Translator: Jane

Recommended reading: I went to Vietnam to start a business at the age of 25, and I didn’t make a cent.