If you feel several years younger than you really are – think yourself as lucky. Because there are thousands who feel several years older. Anyways, regardless of how old we feel a new study has found that some of us feel genuinely ‘ageless’.
The study discovered that more than one in 20 people don’t have an ‘age they feel inside’. These ‘ageless’ folk hardly ever think about how old they feel inside and instead simply enjoy the company of others no matter what their age may be.
Psychology researcher Sengul Kupeli-Holt from Southampton University stated the study uncovered the common psychological myth that everyone has a subjective age that’s different from their real age. She said: ‘Contrary to what researchers have assumed, many people simply do not have an age on the inside – they are ageless. Only for some people who are agebound is age part of their identity.’
Around 1,114 women and men participants in the study were asked to report a range of subjective ages that they identified with. 6.5 per cent of the participants stated they did not have a subjective age – they effectively regarded themselves as ageless.
Around 10 per cent said they certainly did have a subjective age – ‘I always feel 18 inside’. They were classified as ‘agebound’. Those left were on a spectrum between the two extremes.
Ms Kupeli-Holt discovered ageless and agebound people were uniformly spread across chronological ages, gender and levels of education. She cautioned that being fixated with age could give rise to severe stress.
‘It tends to make you more susceptible to being stressed about your age, even to the point of post traumatic stress disorder if they can’t cope with the fact they are steadily getting older than their subjective age. There’ s an internal tension at work,’ she said.
She then further added that looking at the positive side, agebound people are healthier than their peers — the reason being that they look after themselves more so they look and feel younger. She further said that some people don’t really bother about age at all. They are not worried about how old other people are, how they dress or behave, and they have friends of all ages.
‘It’s liberating because they completely ignore the issue of age whereas it’s something most people think about a lot,’ she said.
A presentation of the research was made yesterday at the British Psychological Society conference in Liverpool.