Want to Live Longer? Change Your Mind About Aging

Nir Eyal
Psychology of Stuff
8 min readMay 29, 2024

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If we think life is over in old age, it will be.

There is no shortage of supposed methods for increasing lifespan. Typing in “longevity” into Amazon reveals over 40,000 books on the topic. Each author purports their own cure, typically involving a special diet, miracle supplement, or painful practice.

What’s usually left out is how much extra life one can expect to gain by following these often difficult, frequently expensive, and rarely scientifically-backed routines.

Take the latest fitness fad: immersing yourself in icy water. Though endless gurus tout its benefits, not a single long-term study shows that freezing yourself adds even one day to your lifespan. Even well-established nutritional darlings, like the Mediterranean diet, which have been extensively studied, perhaps increase lifespan by four and a half years or so.

However, there is one often overlooked factor that studies have found increases lifespan by seven years or more. It’s painless, costs nothing, and doesn’t require the advice of a doctor or online fitness influencer.

Perception Is Reality

A 2002 study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology and a similar study published in 2009 in Psychological Science found that thinking…

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Nir Eyal
Psychology of Stuff

Posts may contain affiliate links to my two books, “Hooked” and “Indistractable.” Get my free 80-page guide to being Indistractable at: NirAndFar.com