Your age is just a number, as long as you feel young.
German researchers found older people who felt younger had a greater sense of well-being, better cognitive functioning, less inflammation, lower risk of hospitalization, and longer lives. The scientists say it’s possible feeling younger helps people avoid stress, which might help “to buffer functional health decline.”
The protective effect was strongest among the oldest participants, suggesting feeling younger than we actually are is most beneficial in old age. But, feeling younger likely stops having a protective effect against stress if the gap between subjective and actual age becomes too wide. It’s thought that interventions to help people feel younger could reduce the harm caused by stress, though further research is needed to determine the best way to do that.