Successful Aging Book Summary By Daniel J. Levitin

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Successful Aging (2020) by Daniel J.

Levitin is a book that explores the neuroscience of aging and gives us insight into how we can enjoy our later years.

The book challenges the outdated notion that as we age, we are doomed to an inevitable decline in health, vigor and comfort, instead presenting readers with tips on how they can not only cope with the process of aging but learn to really appreciate it.

With this book in hand, you’ll gain valuable insight into what makes successful aging a reality, understanding both the physical and cognitive changes that come with age along the way.

Successful Aging Book

Book Name: Successful Aging (A Neuroscientist Explores the Power and Potential of Our Lives.)

Author(s): Daniel J. Levitin

Rating: 4.5/5

Reading Time: 23 Minutes

Categories: Health & Nutrition

Author Bio

Daniel J.

Levitin is an acclaimed author, professor, and public speaker.

He was a professor of psychology and behavioral neuroscience at McGill University for many years, and has since become a bestselling author with four books under his belt.

His TED Talk on The Organized Mind currently has over 16 million views - he's definitely someone you should pay attention to!

Levitin is well-versed in the topic of successful aging and knows how to get people motivated and involved in the process.

His thought-provoking advice and approach makes him the perfect person to take motivation from when it comes to aging successfully.

How To Age Well: Unleashing The Potential Of Growing Older

Potential Of Growing

Successful aging is something that all of us can strive for, at any age.

While we may not be able to stop cognitive and physical abilities from shifting as we age, we can take steps to ensure that the changes within our control can have a positive effect on our lives going forward.

For instance, taking steps to cultivate certain personality traits have been linked to greater longevity, while activities like cuddling your children has also been found to extend their predicted life spans.

Not only this but making sure you get enough sleep every night is key – even the Dalai Lama sleeps nine hours each night!

The Successful Aging book by explains how you can apply a five-part principle so that you can live longer, happier and healthier.

From understanding how your brain changes as you age to learning which common myths are untrue, reading this book will help equip you with valuable knowledge and practical tips that will benefit both your mental and physical health.

The Positive Side Of Growing Old: Practical Intelligence And Perceptual Completion Skills Strengthen With Age

It’s true that, as we age, aspects of our mental capabilities can decline.

This can be caused by plaque build up in the brain, or the reduction of neurochemicals and dopamine.

As a result, we may find ourselves struggling to recall information quickly or leaving our keys in the refrigerator more often.

But even though aging brings about certain declines in physical and mental health, there are also some surprising improvements!

As we age, chemical changes occur in our brains that literally make it easier for us to accept death.

Additionally, these changes cause us to experience less fear overall, and become more emotionally balanced.

Aging allows us to increase tendencies toward understanding, forgiveness, tolerance and compassion.

Not only that but older people have better scores in two important categories of intelligence: practical intelligence and perceptual completion.

Practical intelligence deals with being able to come up with solutions when faced with challenges- something which tends to improve as you get older due to a lifetime of experience.

Perceptual completion has to do with adjusting ‘context blind spots’; for example filling out the word ‘lock’ based on knowing what the surrounding words could be (in this case: lcck).

Our brains are constantly making leaps like this so having an experienced brain is invaluable.

Ultimately, every stage of life comes with its benefits and drawbacks- aging included!

It’s important to remember that although mental decline occurs as we get older, successful aging means looking at all sides- including enjoying the positive parts!

Debunking The Myths Of Age: Memory Loss And Being Past Our Prime

Aging is not always viewed positively in our society, which is why it’s essential to debunk the many myths about getting older.

One of the biggest myths is that memory loss is an inevitable part of aging, when in reality, age has little to do with it – everyone experiences short-term memory lapses at any age.

In fact, research shows that older people are actually better at making judgments and decisions based on pattern recognition than their younger counterparts.

Therefore, despite what people assume about aging and its effect on memory, it is possible for seniors to maintain good cognitive health by staying active and engaging in activities that stimulate their brains.

Another myth regards the idea that older people are past their prime – that starting a new hobby or skill won’t have much impact on them due to their age.

This could not be further from the truth as we have seen incredible examples of late bloomers such as Anna Mary Robertson who began painting only when she was 75 years old and Harland Sanders who founded KFC at 62 years old.

Successful aging isn’t just about debunking these myths but also recognizing those factors that do influence how we age.

It takes effort to stay healthy and happy while growing older but if you make changes today you can reap their rewards tomorrow!

How Childhood Love And Comfort Translates Into Long-Term Health And Happiness

Health And Happiness

It’s well known that when you give your child an extra cuddle, the benefits are long-lasting.

This is more than just a warm and fuzzy feeling – research shows that it has a real impact on their longevity.

In one experiment, rat pups who were licked more by their mothers in the first six days of life showed far better results in adulthood.

These rats produced fewer stress hormones – a result which held up well into old age.

This has to do with bio-chemical responses to touch.

When we’re nurtured, this affects our glucocorticoid receptors in the hippocampus – integral parts of both our stress response and immune system.

Without adequate nurturing these systems will be weaker over time, but with plenty of attention and love these systems remain strong throughout our lives.

A famous 1960s experiment also highlights this point: baby rhesus monkeys were isolated in a cage with two wire mamas; one was wrapped in terry cloth while the other had an alluring bottle of milk attached to it but they overwhelmingly chose to snuggle up looking for warmth and companionship from the padded ‘mother’.

Ultimately, when we give our children (or anyone) extra attention and love, it promotes their physical wellbeing as adults too – giving them extra security which can extend their life expectancy too!

Can We Extend Our Health Span Through Neuroplasticity?

It’s a common belief that our personalities are set in stone at a young age, but evidence suggests that this is not true.

Research has demonstrated that neuroplasticity – the ability of our brains to form new neural pathways and reorganize existing ones – can create meaningful change in our personality traits and ultimately increase our health span.

For instance, studies have shown that we can change levels of conscientiousness (a trait found to be correlated with obesity, physiological dysregulation, and worse lipid profiles), thereby positively impacting our predicted life spans.

Through neuroplasticity, we can also improve skills like navigation using sound and touch instead of vision if we’re suddenly blinded due to an unfortunate accident.

The COACH principle is one way to support these changes: Challenge yourself daily, Observe different responses to certain stimuli, Adapt your behavioral approach as needed Improve overall outcomes, Connect meaningfully with others on a personal level.

By doing this regularly, we can make profound changes in our lives and also extend healthy longevity over time.

Growing Old Requires More Than Just Conscientiousness: Three Ways To Age Healthy And Well

Successful aging involves more than just luck and genetics; it’s about taking active steps to promote longevity.

The five-part COACH principle – curiosity, openness, associations, conscientiousness, and healthy practices – can help you age successfully.

The COACH principle starts with curiosity.

Making time to ask questions and try new things can keep your brain active and sharp.

Similarly, being open to new experiences gives you the chance to take on challenges and learn something new.

Learning new skills or familiarizing yourself with other cultures helps boost creativity and could even provoke you to come up with insightful solutions in difficult situations.

Associations are another important element of the COACH principle.

Maintaining positive relationships with family or friends is vital for your emotional well-being as you age smartly.

Staying sociable can also be beneficial as it keeps your mind sharp while enjoying life’s simple pleasures that make growing older worthwhile.

Additionally, staying conscientious is a vital factor in successful aging as this reasonable way of thinking allows you to achieve personal goals which can effectively lead to a healthier lifestyle that preserves physical health in old age.

Lastly, fostering healthy practices such as engaging in regular physical activity further contributes to success over time both mentally and physically while providing satisfaction from increased energy levels throughout the day.

By integrating the five core aspects of the COACH principle – curiosity, openness, associations, conscientiousness, and healthy practices – into our everyday activities we can ensure an active life full of rewarding days now that will extend into our senior years!

Healthy Practices: Using Common Sense And Scientific Knowledge To Guide Your Diet

Scientific Knowledge

When it comes to aging successfully, eating well is a must.

But with all the fad diets out there, it can be hard to know what really works.

We’ve been taught that if enough people try something, it will work for someone—but the truth is, not everything works for everyone.

The key is understanding why dieting sometimes actually works.

What we do know is that when it comes to diets and healthy practices as we age, moderation and awareness are key—so don’t go overboard and limit your calorie intake too much!

Caloric restriction has been linked with longevity, but too much of it can actually damage your health.

We should also take into consideration the scientific evidence behind healthy food choices.

Eating fatty fish and B12 promotes neural health, three tablespoons of olive oil a dayrelieves oxidative stress on cells and regulates cholesterol levels, cruciferous vegetables help keep cancer risk low, and increasing protein in our diet helps promote bone health.

Plus you should always stay hydrated because our thirst detectors tend to get worse as we age.

Remember: moderationis key here!

Enjoy an occasional treat when you’re hungry, but stop when you’re satisfied and don’t overdo it.

Your common sense should serve as the ultimate guide when determining what’s best for your body as you get older—not every new diet trend or popular suggestion from friends, coworkers or celebrities.

When your body wants something nutritious—listen to it!

The Surprising Mental And Physical Benefits Of Going For A Walk

Research has shown that physical movement, even in small doses, has the biggest impact on healthy aging.It turns out that simply taking a walk around the block or spending 10 minutes on a stationary bike can be very beneficial for your mental and bodily health!

One study revealed this by having two groups of elderly people take walks.

One group followed a rectangular path and the other was encouraged to wander off the path and explore their surroundings.

Afterward, these groups were tested on a creative cognitive activity made up of different uses for chopsticks.

The group that had gone off the path outperformed the group that stayed on it – demonstrating how walking in new environments promoted creativity and stimulated their brains.

This has become so prevalent that some doctors are now prescribing physical exercise to their elderly patients in order to improve both physical and mental health!

Scottish doctors have begun prescribing “rambling and bird-watching” while those in Quebec offer free visits to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts as ways of treating aging ailments.

It’s clear that physical movement has an immense impact when it comes to healthy longevity – no matter what form of exercise you decide to engage in, it will surely benefit you greatly!

The Dalai Lama Got 9 Hours Of Sleep Every Night: Why You Should Do The Same

9 Hours Of Sleep

If you want to enjoy a happy and healthy life, then getting enough sleep is essential.

It may be difficult to prioritise sleep since we live in a culture that values productivity above all else.

But, at the same time, those extra hours spent working could actually be cutting years of your life.

Studies have shown that 99 percent of people need at least seven hours of sleep every night – it’s not a sign of weakness or laziness, but a biological requirement that our bodies need to stay healthy as we age.

As we get older, our brain’s signalling (suprachiasmatic nucleus) degrades and this makes it harder to maintain a regular sleep cycle which can lead to physical and mental consequences.

Sleep isn’t something that you should view as lost time – think of it as energy conservation so that you can do more during the day!

When your body is asleep, cellular repair mechanisms kick in which helps to heal wounds and fight off infections.

Studies also suggest that sleeping helps with consolidating memories and emotions processing – so if you’re learning something new or working on challenging problem-solving tasks, don’t neglect sleeping time!

You can help encourage the right amount of sleep by avoiding screens two hours pre-bedtime, making sure your bedroom is dark while you’re sleeping in there and most importantly, setting up a consistent bedtime and wake up routine every day – even on weekends!

The Dalai Lama himself has suggested nine hours of sleep as his habit for staying healthy and happy in life .Think about it – if it worked for him for so many years then why not give it a try yourself?

Wrap Up

The final summary of Successful Aging is simple: don’t give in to the idea that aging has to be a negative experience.

Instead, embrace it as a time for growth and development.

Remaining active and engaged with people, trying new things, eating healthily and getting enough sleep are all key ingredients of successful aging.

The most important piece of advice here is to pass on your knowledge and skills.

Whether that’s through volunteering, joining a club or mentoring a younger person, make sure you stay engaged so you can enjoy increased stability, peacefulness and happiness.

Healthy aging isn’t easy but it can certainly be done!

Arturo Miller

Hi, I am Arturo Miller, the Chief Editor of this blog. I'm a passionate reader, learner and blogger. Motivated by the desire to help others reach their fullest potential, I draw from my own experiences and insights to curate blogs.

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