Sarah Stultz: People say 40 is now the new 30, right?

Published 8:45 pm Tuesday, April 23, 2024

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Nose for News by Sarah Stultz

By some people’s standards, I have a big birthday Wednesday, though as I’ve approached the big day, it hasn’t seemed that daunting to me.

It is what it is, and I still feel like I’m relatively young — though teenagers probably see me as otherwise.

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I’m starting to see anti-aging products show up on my Facebook feed — creams and makeups to reduce age spots and wrinkles. I watch the videos sometimes because it’s interesting to see if they actually work, though I’ve never really sought them out for myself.

As my clock keeps ticking forward, I’m starting to see there are pros and cons to all ages.

I have close friends all over the board in age. Yes, some are close to my own age, but I have others who are in their 20s, some who are in their 50s and 60s and even some who are in their 80s.

It doesn’t matter to me the age as I have found over the years that if we can hold a conversation and get along 95% of the time, we can be friends. I’ve enjoyed meeting and becoming friends with people of all ages.

I’ve found that people of different ages have different life experiences and interests, and that makes life fun and interesting for me to be around. We’re all more alike than we are different.

“How does it feel to be turning 40?” some people have already asked me. In all reality, it doesn’t make me feel any older, and I agree in many ways with the saying that age is a state of mind.

I found an article in Time magazine from 2015 that explored how the daily behavior and choices we make can impact our life and how much of an impact our minds can have on our bodies.

It shared of one study that showed that even a single day of mindfulness meditation practice can down-regulate a gene that codes for inflammation, a great driver of aging. Another study showed that reducing stress can reduce the cellular damage from highly reactive oxygen atoms.

The article referenced another study that tested a group of hotel maids who were battling their weight. The researcher told half the sample that studies showed that the work they did was actually a vigorous form of calorie-burning exercise. The research didn’t say that to the other group, and at the end of the study, the women who believed that their work was a workout lost more weight than those in the other group.

So is it as simple as changing a mindset and then automatically shedding 10 years or 10 pounds?

I don’t think it’s that easy, but it is a piece.

The article also talked about the power of optimism and how women who scored high on optimism had significantly lower rates of heart disease, cancer and mortality than women who scored high on pessimism, according to a 2009 study conducted by a physician at Vanderbilt University.

Always tried to be less cynical or pessimistic? Here’s a sign that it could actually help you live longer.

As I celebrate reaching a new decade today, I look forward to the new opportunities that will come before me this year. Cheers to a new year!

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” — C.S. Lewis

Sarah Stultz is the managing editor of the Tribune. Her column appears every Wednesday.