Reverse Aging With This Proven Secret | Marisa Peer
♪ [music] ♪Okay. So, I’m going to tell you today two really exciting things. One is, if you want to, you can become younger. So, many years ago, when I was younger, I wrote my first book about how to actually slow down aging and it really is possible.
And when I was writing my book, one of my dearest friends came to me and she was 35, and she’d actually started going into the menopause and no children. She was devastated and I went, “Look, you can actually reverse the age of your eggs in your womb.
” She’s like, “Really?” I’m like, “Yeah, sure.” So, I worked with her and she had a baby, which was amazing. And then she did go back in the menopause, but many years later, and she was fine because she had her family.
So when I was writing my first book many years ago, I met this amazing woman called Ellen Langer, and she had done this really cool experiment. I’m going to share it with you . So she took a group of men, all men of 75, and this was in 1979.
I met her many years later. And she took these 75 year old men to a retreat and it was a closed retreat. And that means that everything was shut, and it looked as if it was from 1959. So all the music that was piped in was from 1959, all the magazines, and every newsreel, and every paper, and every program was from 1979.
And, sorry, ’59. And it was furnished to be 1959 and it was an experiment. Before they went in, they tested their age. So, this is what you can do if you want to be younger, changing your thoughts and beliefs can make you younger, can make you live longer, can make you look and feel better, can give you a great memory into your 90s and beyond.
And it can keep you fit and active and healthy. And I’m not going to tell you I’m going to show you because I’m a great believer that you believe it when you see it. So, you see there, it says they tested their biological age.
No point, your chronological age means you’re 75. That is so unimportant. Your birth certificate age, throw it away, never refer to it again, it doesn’t mean a thing because we age on our own timetable.
So you have an age, maybe, I’d say someone here was 40. That’s your age of your birth certificate. If you’re a runner, then your age of your organs is very different. A runner at 40 will have a heart and lungs of 30, but knees of 50.
And if they run in the sun, skin of 52 . So your biological age is completely different and you can change it. And the thing that changes it is your psychological age, the age you feel. I’ll tell you more about that in a minute.
So they did all these tests, their hearing, their vision, their grip, even the length of their fingers, and their blood, and their hormones, and all these things. And after a week of pretending it was 20 years earlier, pretending it was 1959 not 1979, they all, every single one of them reversed their age by a minimum of 7 years.
Because they did all these tests again and they were like, “Wow, these guys are 7 to 10 years younger.” Of course it was like, “Yeah, but it’s because they had a holiday for a week.” So she has to have a control group.
Sorry, I’m just getting used to that and the control group also went on holiday for a week to the same place, but had normal furniture, it was 1979, they actually got older. Guess they didn’t like that modern music, but they didn’t reverse their aging at all.
Anyway, the BBC said, “Wow, this is so cool.” So the BBC in 2010 said, “We’re going to recreate this, but even better.” So they made a closed retreat and they made it 35 years earlier. So they took a group of men and women, it wasn’t just men, and they were between the age of 78 and 88, and they took them to a closed retreat.
It was 2010, but it all looked like it was 1975. The music was from 1975, the TV shows were from 1975 , they have to wear badges of themselves from 1975, and every magazine was from 1975. And they found what was extraordinary is that one of them went in on sticks, one of them could practically not walk, and the same thing happened within a week.
They had all reversed their aging by 12 years. That’s more than a year, a day, and they asked one of them in particular, “What did you do to reverse your aging?” Because the one who was in there on crutches was actually running around the garden.
There was a woman called Silvia Sims and she said, to this day, she now goes to old people’s homes and teaches them something, which is, you can get older, you do not have to get old. And he said, “I forgot to be old.
I slipped back into that world of 35 years ago, I forgot I was 88.” He’d been really depressed, there was another guy there called Lionel Blair, he was actually tap dancing on stage. So this was a great thing to do because what you have to understand about aging is, it cannot be defined.
No one has ever been able to define aging. There are tribes, there are groups, there’s an island in Greece where they have some of the longest living people in the world. They all have some stuff in common, which I’ll share with you, but actually, what we think of aging, do you know what it is? It is massive disuse of the body followed by massive disuse of the brain because the brain is brutal.
The brain has what I call use-it-or-lose-it. And if you use it, you don’t lose it, and if you don’t use it, you do lose it. So once the BBC had done this test and it was so amazing, they said, “Well, let’s do more tests.
” So, they took a group of people, volunteers off the street and they said, “Walk into a room and just make sentences of these words.” They had a few more words too, so they went into the room. They filmed them walking in and they got a pen and they made a sentence with wise, fragile, sentimental, obedient.
When they filmed them leaving, they said it was so odd they were walking 20% slower. They really thought they were fragile and they were walking like they’ve got old. And then of course they took another group in the room and they said make sentences out these words.
And they said they practically bounded out of the room. They were springing out of there, all the same age because they were using young words. And the words you use have an actual effect on your body.
You see, your brain listens to every word you say. If you go, “Oh my God , I look so old.” Your brain goes, “Okay,” and that’s permanent. But if you go, “Oh, I look a little tired.I look a little dehydrated.
I look a little stressed.” Your brain goes, “Yeah, but tomorrow you won’t.” Because some words are permanent and some words are not. So, don’t ever go, “I’m so old. I’m too old. I look old. I can’t do that at my age.
” I hate people going, “Oh, I forgot the milk. It’s my age.” Is that really? Because my kid comes home from school every week without her swimming trunks, and then her lunch, and then she’s forgotten her PE kit and I never go, “It was your age.
You’re just so old.” And you only have to hang out in a children’s cloakroom to see how much they forget stuff, but we don’t go, it’s their age. Or people go, “I need my sleep at night.” My four-year-old needed her sleep when she was four, but I never added to it, it’s her age.
Actually it kind of was her age, but as people get older, they go, “I forgot because of age.I look old because I’m old. My knees hurt because I’m old.” You’ve got to start disregarding your age . If you want to age incredibly well, never mention your age, don’t refer to it because it doesn’t matter.
So here’s the next. You see, this is what aging is, is an expectation that you live up to. You can go to old people’s home and see people sitting with their remote control, clicking through the TV shows, getting older, because when hope dies, old age runs to meet you.
But people who don’t do that, who still work. Professors of 90 have the same brain neurons as professors of 30 because they use their brain all the time. So you want to age well, have a different expectation of all aging is.
Scientists know that you can boost your immune system just by thinking differently, which is exactly what those people did with the BBC test. They thought they were younger. Meditation can make you, I promise, 15 years younger.
Don’t believe me? Go and ask Emily. She’ll tell you because you can’t stop it. Yes, she’s really 62, but that’s a secret . And I’m really 82, but we don’t ever discuss our age. You see, you make different chemicals when you’re happy.
When you’re depressed, your whole immune system is depressed with you. But this is my favorite thing that the BBC did. Oh, actually that shouldn’t be there, but we’ll come back to that. Never mind. Forwards, I’m so young, I can just work all of this out.
You know what, I can’t even look for this one. It doesn’t matter because I’ve got a fantastic memory because I tell myself every day, I have an amazing memory and I do something called neurobics, which you’re all going to do.
So, here’s the third thing that BBC did which I love. They took some people and said, “We’re going to pretend you’re a fighter pilots.” So they put on the overalls, they put on the goggles, and they put them in Harrier Jump Jet flight simulators.
And they tested their eyesight, and then they had to pretend they were flying a fighter plane. And they said what was so weird is that their sight improved in a way that is physically not possible. And actually, their sight didn’t get better but their brain believed they were fighter pilots and their brain started to work so hard to make them see better and they saw better.
So how cool is that? That if you think you’re a pilot, your brain starts to change your eyesight. And these are all documented, all in my book, you can go online, none of this is made up. And you might even know this next test, I’ll tell you one more.
The Rainbow Children’s Hospital in Cleveland in Ohio was showing these very sick kids on the ward a puppet show. And they had a policeman puppet and he was here, and in this hand with the germ puppets.
And the policeman puppet came along and he defeated all the germs, already beat them up, but you could do that. That was like 10 years ago. So this policeman came along and he fought all the germs and he defeated the germs, and all the kids laughed.
And then they said, “Okay, close your eyes . I want you to imagine this puppet show is going on in your body.” So they closed their eyes and they imagined it, and then they took saliva swabs and they said incredibly, they are making so much immunoglobulin, which is a protein that fights the virus.
That their body actually believes this virus is there and their mind is making a protein to kill it. So, every thought you think has a physical reaction in your body and you can do so much about aging.
So, I want to tell you about my favorite, favorite thing, which is something called neurobics. Neurobics makes your brain younger and I just told you about the brain being brutal. See what the brain loves is newness.
Anyone here with kids, they start to crayon and then they get up over here and look at a movie, and then they go over there and crayon a bit more, and then they go and get juice, then they put on the TV, and they do new stuff all the time.
They don’t sit still. And as we get older, some of us sit still for too long and so what the brain likes is newness. And neurobics just means doing something new. So here’s what neurobics means. When you clean your teeth, you want to clean your teeth with the wrong hand, you want to put your.
..it’s very good to do this with high heels, put your leg behind you, close your eyes and clean your teeth like that. See I can do it in stilettos because I practice. Not to go on stage here. I like neurobics.
It just means do something new. I have my mother now doing Sudoku on an iPad. My mother’s on Facebook, my mother’s on Skype. She’s got a really young mind. My dad was a professor, he’s had cancer three times, he’s had two strokes, but his mind is so sharp because he has that use-it.
So, if you want to have a really sharp memory into your 90s, you want to be sharp as a tack and remember stuff, you’ve got to do new stuff. And preferably, new stuff that’s young. So, singing, dancing, laughing, having sex, that’s not new, but keep doing a lot of that in new places, if you can , but also do neurobics.
And the other thing the brain loves, you see, neurobics means mental exercises that make a new brain pathway. So neurobics, just clean your teeth with the wrong hand, then you make that some mental exercise that makes a new brain pathway.
You make a bigger hippocampus which gives you a better memory and stronger brain power. And when you meet people like, well, you won’t meet them, but people like Titian the painter, Rubenstein the composer, most artists live until their 90s and beyond.
I went to somebody called Molly Parkins’ 80th birthday and she was telling everyone that she’d just had sex in a cupboard with a surfer on holiday. She’s a great person. My daughter said, “I can’t believe she’s the same age as my grandmother.
She does all these crazy things.” But she’s a great character. She drank and smoked and was a terrible alcoholic and yet, her passion for painting and always doing new stuff has given her an incredibly young brain.
So, this is, I’m not going to say this word, but there’s something called wrong hand activity, and it’s so easy. It just means reach for your remote control with the wrong hand. If you are right-handed, you’ll find that wherever you set off from, you always go up the stairs on that leg.
You can try wherever you set off from in your house, you will always go up the stairs on that leg. Start to use that leg. That actually makes brand new brain neurons. Your brain neurons stay strong if you do something new.
So if you combine neurobics, like, cleaning your teeth with your eyes shut and lifting your leg up just for a minute, with the wrong hand activity, you can have an amazing brain. And this comes from New York University Medical School.
They found this and they now get people to do this all the time. So, the thing is, you can trick your brain, actually I’m going to play you a little song. So, we’ve got this song just for you. [Silence] Think about this song.
It was written about a 75 year old guy and he was not talking about his Zimmer frame, no, far from it. Mick Jagger doesn’t have moves through his Zimmer frames. You see, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Little Richard, are a great example of tricking your brain.
They don’t juice, they don’t meditate, what they do is take truckloads, well, they did take truckloads of drugs, a lot of alcohol, and have a lot of sex. That’s what a young person does and if you do something young, you can even bypass wild crazy behavior.
So, Mick Jagger, I mean, I’ve met…I’ve got a lot of clients who are rock stars, some of them old, they never dress old, they never use old words. They don’t go, “Oh, this is so groovy.” They say something much more relevant.
They don’t talk about boogying, we’re going for boogie because they don’t live in that world. They live in now and they are very young. And if you saw Mick Jagger running around the stage in Cuba for two and a half hours aged 75, I mean, people go, “That’s extraordinary.
” How do you know that isn’t normal aging and all the other stuff is extraordinary? Because if you do young things, you stay young. And it’s great to juice and meditate, but if you do all that stuff feeling very stressed, it has less of an effect, but if you think young thoughts and do that, you see, you don’t grow older till you stop growing and then you get old.
And The Stones will probably keep going until they drop dead and why wouldn’t they? So, you see, I’m going to tell you something else here now because you’ve really got to learn to trick your brain. If you don’t trick your brain, believe you me, your brain is going to trick you.
So, rockers trick their brain , musicians trick their brain, pianists, musicians, painters and artists trick their brain. Let me ask you a question. Do you think your brain’s job is to make you happy? Anyone think that? Because if you do, you’re going to be really unhappy.
Your brain has one job to do. Its job is to make you survive on the planet. And how it makes you survive on the planet is something else that’s very, very aging, sugar. Sugar is probably one of the most aging things you can eat.
It ruins your digestion , it attaches to collagen, makes your face very stiff, and it suppresses your immune system for hours. But your brain’s job is to make you survive, and your brain still thinks that sugar is really scarce.
And many, many years ago we were, women especially, we were hunter-gatherers. We came up our little cave, and we went off for a walk, and we found some berries, and avoid that hole, and we found some root vegetables.
And we might have had fish, might even have found some eggs. But sometimes we found honey and our brain went, “Ah, oh my God, that’s that scarce rare hardly ever available honey.” And we took as much honey as we could and we went home.
And the next day we woke up and we thought, “Ah, honey,” because your brain, get this, is hard wired to remember where sugar is. So who knows someone who wakes up and goes, “Oh my God, I have Ben & Jerry’s in the fridge and is calling my name.
I have chocolate cookies in the cupboard and I just got to keep going back and eating them.” No one says, “Ah, I have celery in the fridge and it’s got my name on it. I have peas in the cupboard and I just got to keep going back till they’re gone.
And I’ve got a bit of celery and I’m going back.And I got more celery and I’m going back, and I just cannot stop eating that celery.” Your brain is wired to tell you where sugar is. It is wired to make you remember where sugar is because guess what, it wants you, it wants you to gorge on it because thousands and thousands of years ago, we didn’t get it very much.
There was no shops . You got honey maybe twice a year and you would remember where it is till it was all gone. And when you had it, you gorged on it till it was all gone and then that was fine till next time it came around.
Now what’s so weird is that, that stuff isn’t scarce. We have so much sugar but the brain still thinks it’s scarce and your brain is tricking you. So let’s give a little example. You’re sitting at work eating a chocolate bar thinking, “I really should stop eating all this chocolate.
I’m eating so much chocolate.” But it’s like, “No, it’s really scarce and rare and you might not get it again for a whole year, so eat more, eat more.” And you’re like, “How’s that working?I sit next to a vending machine with Kit Kats in it for like 10 years.
I drive past these stores full of chocolate for 15. I go food shopping every week. It doesn’t feel very rare.” Your brain is like, “No, but it could run out, so you need to have more and you’ve got to keep going back for more because one day it might not be there.
” And that is bad how? Since it’s not a great thing it’s like, well, it’s just rare and scarce and scarce and rare and of course, it isn’t scarce and rare. Your brain is doing its job. Your brain’s job is to make you remember where rare food is and to send you back.
You ought to do your job and your job is to say to your brain, “Hang on, I know you’re trying to help me, but you know what, actually raspberries are rare, avocados are rare, but a steamed fish is rare.
” And to stop saying, “This is lovely stuff,” because you’ve got to change that wiring and you can do . And here’s another little hack. Not only is your brain wired to make you remember where sugar is, when you see it, you want it.
When you’re in a restaurant, they don’t go, “Do you want a dessert?” They go, “Would you like to look at our trolley? We have a double triple chocolate cake. We have ice cream with chocolate. We have trifle.
We have apple pie. We have custard and we have seven different flavors of ice cream.” You go, “Oh, that’s got my name on it.Oh, I’ve got to have that.” Sometimes they go, “You can have a bit of everything.
” Ever been to restaurant and they go, “Look at our beautiful cabbages. Look, we’ve got red cabbages, we’ve got white cabbages, we’ve got green. Aren’t they beautiful?Would you like a little sample?” It’s like, no, because that’s not rare or scarce, but actually, now it’s all changed.
We go on planes, healthy food is rare. We go to work, we have a minibar. My minibar hasn’t got any salad in it. It’s got chocolate and alcohol. So you’ve got to have this dialogue back and go, “No, it’s not rare .
” And the third hack is that when you eat too much variety, it actually stimulates your appetite. So, when I was working in Zimbabwe, the people that worked in all the lodges said they couldn’t eat what we ate.
They said, “Why do you have so much variety?” Because every time you introduce a new taste, a new texture, and a new variety, guess what you do? You stimulate your appetite to want more. And you should have a varied diet, but not at every meal .
You don’t need to have a fruit served with 20 types of fruit, or even 8. Stick to three. You don’t want to have loads and loads of ingredients. So, remember these things. Your mind is absolutely hard wired to make you remember where sugar is and go back for more.
And if food is in your line of vision, you want to eat it. Who here knows an alcoholic who keeps a full liquor cabinet just in case their neighbor wants a drink? Anybody? Anyone stopped smoking, keeps cigarettes on the coffee table just in case somebody nearby might want one.
Oh, if you have a problem with that food, don’t keep it in the house. And if you have to keep it in the house, put it in boxes where you can’t see it. Not when you open the fridge, there’s that chocolate chunk cheesecake because your brain is still going, “Oh, double chocolate, triple chocolate with sugar, yay! That’s amazing.
” But your body’s going, “Oh, no. All that chocolate with actual chemicals and preservatives and emulsify .” That’s not a treat. And when people say, you need a little treat. When I had cancer, I was waiting for this diagnose and they kept saying, “You need to treat,” and they kept bringing me cakes and chocolates and chocolate drinks.
I’m like, “Yeah, I do need a treat but I don’t really want to poison myself because that’s poison.” So, if you want to age better, all you have to do is change your thinking. And I’m going to do one thing for one minute and then I’m going to come off the stage.
So, I’m just going to show you how when you change one thing in your brain, changes everything. So put your fingers about an inch and a half apart and then do this really quickly, so not too close together.
And all I want you to do is to believe you have two magnets on your fingertips, opposite magnets attract. Bring them a bit closer together and I want you to imagine you have opposite magnets that are pulling your fingers together, pulling them, pulling them, but as you look through your fingers, that opposite polar magnet is pulling your hands together until they meet and touch.
Okay? And because you’re thinking about a magnet, your mind is creating a magnetic field that’s pulling your fingers together. Now, pull them apart, do exactly the same. Keep them quite close together.
I want you to imagine you have magnets of the same polarity, the same repels. This time your fingers cannot touch. They have to do that, they have to go past over around. So, same polarity as your fingers as you push them together, that magnetic force pushes them past each other.
They cannot will not touch, but they have to go past because you changed one word. Same polarity repels, opposite polarity attracts. Change your language if you want to be younger. Change your thoughts.
Change your beliefs. Have a little Mick Jagger in you. Well, actually, no that probably wasn’t the right thing to say. Have a little Mick Jagger in your mind. And yeah, well, do that too. And don’t give in to aging.
Just defy it. It doesn’t even exist. Thank you for listening.