Be sillier for long, happy life? Study finds key to feeling younger is acting 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.

Woman wearing gag Groucho Marx glasses
Being silly gets tougher as we get older, but a new study finds that acting immature is actually good for your health and well-being, and a great way to start feeling younger.

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.”

Interestingly, the study found most adults don’t truly feel “mature” until their late 20s. For women, that occurs at age 27, while men take a tad longer (29).

So what are some easy ways adults can easily relive the glory days and begin feeling younger?

Playing Monopoly, Legos, or cards with others were the most common games that brought back feelings of nostalgia. Others found putting on some old-school TV shows or movies from their childhood or listening to favorite songs from their younger years did the trick.

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.

Of course, parents of young children may have the greatest advantage in reconnecting with their childhoods and feeling younger. A quarter of participants admitted that being able to play with toys again brought them great joy in parenthood.


  1. Why is so-called diversity and mass immigration mandated for ALL white populations and ONLY white populations?

    Is open borders the White ‘Privilege’?

    Diversity is not demanded anywhere EXCEPT where white people are.
    It’s code for removing white people ONLY.

    It’s Geno cide
    Its Anti White.

    1. Not only that, but if you’re white in a non-white country they want you out! As the Smith’s song goes Everyone hates you when you’re successful……..

    2. Yeah, how could monocultural, non-diverse places like Japan or South Korea even THINK about building modern, stable, prosperous societies without tons of “vibrant” third world peasants? There’s no way they can build a first-world economy without…

      Er, wait a minute….

  2. So I’ll take Ritalin, start moving my head quickly to move back my non-existent bangs out of my puffy eyes, and dress all in black. It’s all about ME, you know.

  3. Keeping active – games, computer games and reading. If you are fortunate enough to dodge Alzheimer and dementia – thank your ancestors and genes. It’s great if you have an interest in the outdoors, walk or are involved in some activity outside. I’m 78 and my husband is 84. We volunteer 3 days a week at a senior living center. It is amazing how positive many of these individuals still are, although many are wheelchair bound. They participate in the center’s activities, visit each other and generally care for each other. I would add compassion and serving others to the list of “how to stay young” – as I watch these wonderful people. Enduring to the end can be a positive.

    1. Dodging dementia is partially about getting enough exercise. Have been exercising 1000 – 1300 calories in the gym most days. Helps clear the brain. Before starting that exercise, I was having trouble just dialing a 10 digit number – had to look back several times. Now I just look once and dial it. Also had been experiencing finding myself on the road but not remembering exactly where I was, and that was on the way to work. That problem stopped when starting exercising too. Exercise also saved my life when contracting dual pulmonary emboli (blood clots, both lungs.) Couldn’t catch my breath. Hospital 5 days. Doctor and 2 nurses told me on separate occasions that had I not had my heart in top notch shape from all the exercising, it would have gotten tired and quit. I’m alive because of the aforementioned 1000 – 1300 calories a day on the elliptical. So exercise, already…

  4. LMAO! They needed a “study” to figure this out? ANOTHER pointless grab for government funding. I think we learned the same lesson from Walt Disney back in the 50s…

    1. The government spent a bunch of money on a study to determine why gay men tend to be slim while lesbians tend to be fat. No kidding.

  5. So, as a 48 year old man, is should: sag my pants, baseball cap sideways, tattoo arm sleeve and finish every sentence with, ‘no what I’m saying’? That, and vote democialist, no thanks…..pass, ill act my age…..

  6. Must be true. Works for my husband and me. We have a house full of vintage toys, board games, and even a Mighty Mouse Rocket Ride. When I take grandkids to a playground, I usually spend as much time climbing, swinging, and sliding as they do. We also like to hike, camp, go backpacking and kayaking, so I guess we’re not doing too badly for a couple of old people. I can still do just about anything I could do half a century or more ago. I learned from my dad to always keep learning and trying new things. It’s not just about how long you live, but it’s about the quality of life you have while you’re here. Mind or body – if you don’t use it, you lose it!

  7. Self-deprecating humor is also healthy. I make fun of myself a lot and I laugh more than anyone I know. I am goofy as often as possible. I am also very good at my job.

  8. Works for me. I’m 70, and will be visiting Cedar Point amusement park in May, enjoy my fast car every day (Subaru WRX), go to movies often (see everything that isn’t too stupid for words – skipping “Downsizing” for that reason), and play video games most every day. I feel great.

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