Dr. Helen

You can't Always Be Young, But You can Always Be Immature.

I saw an interesting article linked at Drudge stating that being silly for adults leads to feeling younger:

LONDON — It’s hard to ignore tired feet and that constantly-achy back as we get older, but a new study finds that a key to a long life of good health and always feeling younger — no matter our age — is to simply act younger from time to time.

Researchers from Healthspan, a supplier of vitamins and health supplements in the United Kingdom, polled 2,000 British adults on the effects of nostalgia and youthful behavior on mental and physical health.

Nearly three quarters of respondents indicated that occasionally forgetting you’re an adult and tapping into a more immature mindset — be it watching old cartoons, pulling pranks on friends, or playing classic board games — was important for their health.

In fact, one in four participants admitted they’d like to remain “child-like” for as long as possible, and half still felt cravings for childhood experiences.

“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,” says psychologist Dr. Meg Arroll in a press release. “The findings of this survey support previous research that has shown nostalgia boosts our mood.”

The study found simply being silly, such as imitating others, making goofy faces, or blowing bubbles through a straw, still draws plenty of good-natured laughter.

“The research shows that nostalgia can buffer against depression, boost social connectedness, so doing things/activities from childhood can be important in maintaining health, specifically with regard to social connectedness as isolation is so damaging to health, e.g. as bad as smoking,” says Arroll.

There are many things about being a kid that are not fun: people telling you what to do, going to school or dealing with other kids who are usually immature in a way that is not a good time.

That said, running, skipping and watching cartoons can be a lot of fun, even as an adult.