Ever since I was a child, I was consumed by anxiety and tormented by my mind. As I got older, my anxiety got worse, and so did my urge to escape it. The habits from this program have not only helped me to achieve outward success; they’ve changed my physical, emotional, and mental health too.
As luck had it, I was part of a brain imaging study while I was in detox. Using scans from my addicted brain, we compared them to scans of my brain 5 years later and the differences were incredible. With new innovative measurement tools, I’ve also been able to explore the predictive age of my brain. Astonishingly, not only did I reverse the age of my brain, it is now nearly 10 years younger than that of a normal man my age.
Below I describe how our brains can change, and then I discuss the 12 age-reversing habits that made mine 10 years younger.
1. Observe without engaging
‘Self’ means your self-concept, your story — who you think you are. If you are suffering in some way, like I was with anxiety, disconnecting from ‘self’ will give you the freedom to experience a greater sense of well-being. Self-observation, which is a form of meditation, helps you to do just that. It involves mindfully observing your thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations.
For example, if I asked you to observe how tense your body feels, you might take a step back and focus on a specific area, such as a lump in your throat or a tight chest. If I asked you about your anxious thoughts and feelings, you could observe this too. You might be worrying about money, why your chest feels so tight, or why everyone except you seems to be able to cope.
The point is, you can take an observer’s perspective of anxious thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations. When you implement this practice, however, you must do so without engaging.