If you’re looking for a secret recipe to feel younger and enjoy a longer, happier life, here’s an answer that’s straightforward, painless and cheap.
All you have to do is think young, act young and indulge in nostalgia.
Maybe this sounds too good to be true, but it’s the finding of a recent survey, and it’s backed up by a research psychologist.
Make Silly Faces
For the survey, 2000 British adults were asked about the health effects of youthful behavior and the habit of indulging in nostalgia.
Three out of four believed it was important, now and again, to forget they were adults.
The respondents created a more immature mindset by watching cartoons, playing card games or classic board games like Monopoly, or even playing with Lego. All these activities helped them connect positively with their childhood and recapture good memories.
Other things Brits liked to do to was watch old movies and TV shows, look at old photos, imitate other people, play pranks, pull goofy faces, daydream, drive the car while listening to music with the volume turned up, and blow bubbles through a straw.
The survey found that men didn’t feel truly mature until they reached the age of 29. For women it was 27. A quarter of those surveyed wanted to remain “child-like” for as long as possible. More than half were nostalgic for their childhood.
One in four also said one of the best things about being a parent was the excuse it gives them to act like a child and play with toys.
These self-reported opinions are not proof that these people are biologically younger for having acted like a kid, but Megan Arroll, a Research Fellow in Psychology at the University of East London, was not surprised by the findings because they support previous research.
Nostalgia Puts You in a Better Mood
According to Ms. Arroll, “Perceiving ourselves as younger than our age is linked to a more future-orientated outlook, which means that we make better health choices such as engaging in exercise and healthy eating.”
Nostalgia also boosts our mood, which, she continued “may be why the majority of survey respondents stated that Christmas was their favorite time of year, as this is a time when adults shake off their daily worries and jump into playing games, spending time with loved ones and reconnecting with their inner child.”
She added that previous research findings showed nostalgia can act as a buffer against depression and boost connections with other people. She believes that carrying out activities from childhood is important for retaining good health, especially when it comes to maintaining social contact, as isolation is very damaging.
So it seems unanimous – at least from this sample of Brits – that being a “kidult” is the way to go to. Do get in touch with your inner child once in a while. It’s an easy and fun way to stay youthful.