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🧠This Belief Helps More Than Just Your Knees

A recent article in The Washington Post described the reaction of a 70 year old woman who was told by her doctor that her knee pain was due to her age:


"'Then why does my other knee feel fine? It’s the same age.'" (source)

Getting older doesn’t guarantee knee pain.


But it often comes with a mindset that as you age, your joints “wear out.”


However, we know from this woman's question that age is not the cause of her onset of pain.

This might spark curiosity.

If it's not related to age, why is the knee pain occurring?


Just by being curious you can alter your view of the problem.

If you're like 93.4% of US adults ages 50 to 80 years old, you may experience something called everyday ageism ("routine types of age-based discrimination, prejudice, and stereotyping"). (source)

And the source of this ageism isn't always from current advertising and entertainment.


It's often internal-- developed from myths introduced as far back as childhood. (source)


According to AARP International, "Today’s 65-year-olds are in much better shape than their grandparents were at the same age." (source)



A positive mindset towards aging yields even better physical and mental health.

You'll likely live 7.5 more years. (source)


And those extra years will probably be healthier, more enjoyable ones.


Even when suboptimal genetics are involved.

A study of adults carrying a gene for dementia found that, "those with positive age beliefs were 49.8% less likely to develop dementia than those with negative age beliefs." (source)

Moreover, a recent Time magazine article points out, "Changing your mindset toward aging has as much impact on longevity as quitting smoking, and more impact than losing weight, even if you’re obese." (source)


A positive perspective on aging will likely prompt you to take better care of yourself.

For example, if you have knee pain & negative views on aging, you may think the discomfort is a sign of inevitable decline.


And you may ignore the warning signs that your body is giving you & neglect steps to remedy it.


Whereas someone with a positive view of aging may more readily seek help to fix their knee pain.


Becca Levey, a professor of epidemiology and psychology at the Yale School of Public Health, recommends a three-step process to reduce negative thoughts about aging:


1 . Identify ageism. (So if you walk into a room and can't remember why, rather than attribute this to getting older, pause and ask yourself: Do I have a lot on my mind? How might I focus on one task at a time?)


2 . Avoid immediately blaming aches and pains on age. (In the above example of knee pain, the woman advocated for more helpful insights.)


3 . "Challenge anti-aging messages in advertising, politics, everyday conversations— and your own thoughts." (source)



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