The Skinny

Do you feel your age?

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I was on skype with my niece yesterday and my sister asked her how old she thought I was. My niece’s response was four. Excellent I thought, my niece thinks I am so incredibly youthful. It really made me giggle at how little people think.

I’ve never really felt my age, not that I think I am four but I like to think I have a younger outlook on life. My gran always used to say she never felt her age, she used to say she felt like she was around 18-20 and I have never forgotten her youthful outlook on life and how it made her such a fun person to be around.

Some people develop an older outlook on life and there is nothing wrong with that. I just happen to have developed the ability to think like a kid most of the time. I guess that’s why I sometimes feel I am lagging behind everyone else!

Anyway I did some research and if you too live with a younger state of mind it’s ok, it turns out it’s pretty good for you too and even companies are embracing it. Google has crafted colourful workspaces where employees play with toys and video games, they can even take a nap break. Sounds like a kids dream if you ask me but it’s been thought for a long time that it’s necessary for people to think like children to achieve success as adults. The theory is when you’re stuck in a mental rut you approach everything in your life from the same perspective. Incorporating some childlike activities encourages you to think from a new angle.

Here’s some more reasons why adopting a childlike frame of mind is good for you

1. If you have a younger frame of mind you will be more inclined to ask questions and learn new things. As we get older we sometimes get it in our heads that we don’t need to learn new things, that we know it all. Embracing the enthusiasm you had as a kid and continuing to learn and understand new things is really positive. Use the dreaded ‘Why’ word!

2. Kids play all the time. It’s their 9-5 job and they are pretty good at it. I’m not suggesting you get your dolls house or electric car track out but learning a new skill or taking up a new hobby can help to reduce stress and brighten your outlook on life. Focusing on something new can help you to reorganise things in your mind and see things clearer

3. It encourages you to explore new things. Remember going out on your bike as a kid, going on a family walk, exploring a new destination? Travel is great for the mind and it doesn’t mean you have to spend a fortune on a one way ticket round the world. Head away on a weekend camping for example or plan an afternoon drive somewhere you’ve never been before

4. Kids say what they mean all the time, they don’t have a filter and they will tell you exactly what they think. It’s probably not the best idea to unfilter your thoughts like a kid but sometimes we think too much about how we will be perceived. If you don’t like something speak up and say.

5. Kids don’t hold grudges. My sister will often tell me stories about my niece having a melt down and then five minutes later she’s happily playing with her toys. The reason kids can do this is that they don’t have long enough memories to hold on to a bad feeling for very long. This is such a healthy approach to both your personal and professional life when you are frustrated. Scream at the top of your voice in your head then move on to something else. You’ll feel so much better for it.

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