How to stay young
No matter how old you are now, you will never be as young as you have been while reading the title of this hub. You will never be as young as yesterday or as a week ago. Every day, every second takes us further away from our first moment here on earth. But that is by no means something to be concerned about as there are many years of our lives yet to come.
The oldest person to have ever lived was Jeanne Calment from France who died in 1997 at 122 years “to a diet rich in olive oil, regular glasses of port and her ability to ‘keep smiling’” as The Independent put it. The oldest human being still alive is Misao Okawa who has celebrated her 115th birthday on 5 March this year. Even more interesting is the fact that according to statistics, the first human being to become 150 has already been born.
People will get older. In the last 50 years the mortality rate of adults has decreased by 50% as this World Blank table by Google Public Data Explorer shows. This is due to the improvement of medical conditions, near-eradication of infectional diseases as well as improvements in diet and sanitation. Because of these high standarts of living, 90% of the 100,000 people dying each day of age-related causes have been living in industrialized countries.
Time is always the same. By that I mean the units of it never change: a minute will always last exactly 60 seconds, an hour 60 minutes or 3600 seconds and so on. But what surely will change is our perception of it, the way time feels. We remember intense moments or events in our life to be lasting much longer than less intense ones. Psychologists prove that the brain saves richer and deeper memories of novel and intense moments such as your first kiss, an extreme rollercoaster ride or any situation in which you were in danger. It is believed that the reason for this is that you are not actually remembering more things about the event but are making more copies and thus making the remembrance of the moment lasting longer.
For instance, when I drive to a place where I have never been before, the drive to it seems always to be longer than the drive back home. This is due to fact that, while I am driving home, I have already seen all those things on the way and my brain has to cope with much less novelty making the drive seem shorter.
This fact gets even more interesting when put into perspective. Imagine a one-year-old who could look back at his life and think about it. He would be looking at one year representing his whole life (100%). If a two-year-old would do this, he would be looking at two years, while one year now only represents 50% of his life. For someone who is hundred years old a year only represents 1% of his life.
This could explain why we think our childhood took so long, but as we got older the years seemed to fly by. A child almost has nothing but new experiences, like learning to walk, learning a language, meeting new people and so on. As I explained earlier these novel experiences are remembered to be more intense and therefore feel as if they took longer to happen.
How to handle the "speed of life"
There are many different things you can do in order to live and enjoy a good life and stay young, here are just a few:
- Try something new. This one is pretty obvious, but also the most important. We all know how repetitive the working day routine can get and at the end of a year you're asking yourself what you have done the last three years that seem to have happened in a month.
- Eat a healthy diet. Not only does it prevent you from getting sick, it also helps your brain. Eating fish, vegetables and whole grains can drastically improve your memory.
- Be physical active throughout the day. It can help you to keep your weight, clear your head once in a while and also lower blood pressure. It increases the blood flow through your whole body including the brain, so this will help you to keep your memory fit.
- Enjoy life. Don't think too much about what might come and don't live in the past. Try to appreciate every moment, just be glad that you are here.
Wat do you think is most important to stay young?
To conclude, here's what Professor Nir Barzilai of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York said about centenarians: "The cost of treating 100-year-olds in their last two years of life is a third of what it costs to treat somebody aged 70 to 80. People who die between 70 and 80 are sick in the last few years of their life. Centenarians are dying healthy, all of a sudden." This is due to the fact that centenarians tend to have genes that delay the onset of Alzheimer's or heart diseases.
To end this article, here is a quote that pretty much sums it all up:
"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."
- John Hughes, Ferris Bueller's Day Off