sixtyandme logo
We are community supported and may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Learn more

Have You Tried Youthful Thinking? It Works!

By Darlene Corbett July 17, 2023 Mindset

Not long ago, a lovely friend of mine referred to herself as an “old woman.” She had inserted another adjective, but it is irrelevant for this discussion. I did not respond to her self-description, but I thought to myself, “You are a talented, creative woman with many gifts. How sad that you are referring to yourself in a limited way.”

My friend is only in her later 60s. I am a few years younger than her, but not by much. I have and will continue to call myself “a woman of a certain age” or “a mature woman.” Even calling myself or others “an older woman or adult” sounds less inflammatory. You might wonder if I am in denial. My response is no.

A Privilege to Age

On the contrary, I am proud to be 65 and to have had the grace to be living as long as I have on this earth. I still see the windshield wide open, even if the road is short in front of me. “Why,” you might ask. “Why not,” is my answer.

What is the point of trying to avoid the inevitable? Welcome it, be grateful, and keep going as if you have many years ahead of you or this is the last day of your life. Most significantly, do not focus too much on the future. Live in the moment with verve and flexibility.

Some people might think, “Easy for you to say.” My response would be, “Not really.” Although blessings have sprinkled my life, I have endured some of the unfairness and significant obstacles, but to me, there is no choice.

When we feel we cannot get up, we must, even if it feels like an impossible task. By tapping into our resilience, we might have to drag our way to a standing, wobbly position. Next, brush yourself off and get back on the uneven ground we call life.

Benefits to Thinking Young?

Does such thinking have benefits as we age? Intuitively, I believed so, but now my thought has research to validate this perspective. According to a study published by the American Psychological Association, feeling more youthful may help adults handle stress as they get older. Researchers analyzed three years of data from 5,039 participants, age 40 and older, who participated in the German Ageing Survey.

Researchers often examine age through three lenses. One is the chronological age which is the age we refer to ourselves based on our birthday. The second is the biological age, determined by the condition of our body. Finally, there is the subjective age, the one we believe we feel.

The study revealed the significance of viewing oneself as younger. This perspective seemed to be a protective buffer. One important finding was that those who saw themselves as more youthful than their chronological age had a weaker link between stress and health decline.

The lead author, Markus Wettstein, indicated that many people enter old age with sound and intact health resources, whereas others experience a pronounced decline in functional health. In conclusion, he surmised that those who had a younger subjective age appeared to have a more robust defense against the impact stress often wreaks on biological aging.

What’s Next?

Many are calling for a more positive view of aging. I could not agree more. As someone whose mother viewed herself as younger, I will follow suit. I had the appreciation of watching her maintain independence, working with pleasure until age 81, keeping her home, driving her car, and attending to her finances.

When cancer came calling for her a second time, refusing to surrender, my mother whispered to me the following: “I know I am old, but I am a young 82-year-old.” Sadly, cancer won the battle, but she died knowing she did the best she could with her youthful outlook.

I carry my mother’s perspective. My friend can refer to herself as an “old woman.” That is her right. For me, I will honorably continue to describe myself as a woman of a certain age.

“Words are indeed like fine surgery,” borrowing from someone who said that to me long ago. How you think and how you say it does make a difference. Not only does it come across more optimistically, but you can feel the positive effects begin to surge.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

How about you? What are your thoughts about thinking as if 60 was the new 40? A myth, perhaps, but why not give it a try and watch what happens?

Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Jacqueline Arthur

Though I’ve heard of the saying about 60 is the new 40 I haven’t thought much about its implications. I have always had an enormous amount of energy. My whole life. I’m Italian. Maybe that is the reason. :) :) :)

I’ll be 76 in a few months, and I have been having the ‘time of my life’ these past 12 years. I live alone and LOVE IT!!
Regrettably, 12 years ago this month, my husband killed himself. Now that was a shocker! He had been in poor health for over 20 years. But I didn’t see his suicide in his future. And I am an RN. I did the best I could to help him be healthier, to no avail. Genetics interestingly enough was NOT on his side, and it is on my side. I thank my deceased husband daily for giving me the opportunity to live my live with such joyfulness. Thank you, MICHAEL!

I have been financially secure, due to my husband’s savings and my health is spectacular. I take NO medications and I exercise 4 out of 7 days a week. I laugh for no reason, and I sing songs quite often as I’m doing chores around my home. I sing outside in my garden as well. Yoga, walking, pickleball, and strenuous gardening fulfill me and help me sleep well at night. Kayaking and bicycling when the weather permits now that the temperature and humidity has increased in my part of the world. I travel the world extensively. I’m off to South Africa and Botswana this September. AND every day I wake up I say, Thank-you, Thank-you, Thank-you to the universe for my good fortune.

I particularly like a quote from this article about ‘Being a woman of a certain age’. I plan on using that line from now on.
I add that on both sides of my genetic tree women lived to their late 90s. Alert and oriented to activities of daily living as well. And they DID DIE. Like all of us will someday.

I push myself to understand new endeavors as well. I DO NOT GIVE UP if I don’t immediately understand how to work on a computer program. I keep asking questions and I take notes when an instructor is giving me information to better understand an application.
Am I as quick mentally as I was when I was younger? Probably, not. But I’m NOT letting that disappointment get in the way of ME being happy about ME, now.

I also color my hair beautiful blue and purple. The grey that comes through makes me look ‘Spiffy’. I get loads of compliments on my hair color. From young women and young men to older women as well. Interesting, I rarely get complements from men over 60. I just laugh when I think about that. DO I need complements to continue to color my hair. Absolutely, NOT. I color my hair those colors because It Makes ME FEEL TERRIFIC! :)
And don’t ALL of us, regardless of our age, want to feel terrific!

Lynn Whitman

I sometimes refer to myself as an “old lady”. I work with college students and I want them to know that I’m older than their mothers…maybe closer to their grandmother’s age….and I am experienced and know things that will take them decades to learn. I enjoy destroying their idea of what an “old lady” is. When they have the nerve to actually ask me how old I am…they never believe me. I am active, healthy, happier than ever and can do anything I want….how glorious to be an “old lady”.

Marcia Corenman

I will be 71 in a few weeks and have finally begun to live life on my own terms. I feel more focused than ever and look forward to seeing what each new day brings. I am no longer living life in neutral, reverse or parked but full speed ahead!


I’m age 60 and loving it. I don’t feel the need to qualify my age. I welcome this new phase and plan to enjoy it. I’m blessed and thankful for being healthy.

Beth E Severson

I’m 69. And perfectly OK with it. I feel no need to say stuff like 60 is the new 40. If I recall correctly I was not all that happy in my 40s. Much happier now~


Same here! This is the best time of my life (77 soon)

The Author

Darlene Corbett views herself as a life-long learner, work-in-progress, bibliophile, and logophile. Darlene's primary roles are now Therapist, Hypnotherapist, and Author/Writer. At age 61, her first book on personal development was traditionally published. Her book, Visible Forever, will be published by WordCrafts Press in the spring of 2024.

You Might Also Like