Feeling younger can protect adults against health decline, study finds - Daily Mail
May 11, 2021 1 min, 10 secs

Simply feeling younger can protect middle-aged and older adults against health decline by buffering against stress, an astonishing new study reveals. .

Specifically, the experts looked into the effects of stress on functional health decline – steadily becoming unable to perform everyday tasks like climbing the stairs. .

A younger subjective age was associated with less of a steep decline in functional health, according to the team, from the German Centre of Gerontology in Berlin. .

Particularly among older adults, a younger subjective age might help to buffer functional health decline.

'[But], particularly among older adults, a younger subjective age might help to buffer functional health decline.'     

The researchers found, on average, participants who reported more stress in their lives experienced a steeper decline in functional health over three years

Although the link between stress and functional health decline was stronger for older participants, subjective age seemed to provide a protective buffer. 

Among people who felt younger than their actual age, the link between stress and declines in functional health was weaker. 

However, feeling younger likely stops having a protective effect against stress if the gap between subjective and actual age becomes too wide, according to Wettstein

Feeling younger could help buffer middle-aged and older adults against the damaging effects of stress 

'Feeling younger to some extent might be adaptive for functional health outcomes, whereas "feeling too young" might be less adaptive or even maladaptive,' he said.   

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