Are you part of the ‘Peter Pan generation’?

by Bonnie

As the phrase goes, you're only as old as you feel.

As the phrase goes, you're only as old as you feel. Or the ruder version, which states that you're only as old as the men you feel. Either way, it seems apparent that today's over-50s are in no way ready to pipe down and start knitting into their dotage.

Behavioural expert Judi James agrees that while none of us can stop growing old, we certainly don't have to start growing up, no matter how many birthdays we've celebrated.

"It is so important that we have what I would call genuine fun, the kind of way that we would have fun when we were children, that we tap into that," she says.

"Firstly because we are thinking like that it is perceptual, stress is very perceptual, so if you are being a little bit silly every so often and having a bit of fun, it relieves the pressure of the more serious things of life and that means that we are much less likely to suffer from stress."

This stubborn refusal to act our age rather than our shoe size can also help create stronger bonds between different generations, the body language and behaviour expert notes.

"You haven't suddenly got to turn into this adult that doesn't get your kids and your kids don't get you and your gran doesn't get you and your kids. There is a lot more empathy between the generations which means that when you have got to put your foot down and maybe say 'don't behave like this and don't do this' you get more respect because they understand that you understand them before you give them that opinion."

Her comments come after research by Barratt Sweets reveals that nearly half of British adults aged 40 or more enjoy living life as though they are teenagers, with two-thirds of participants admitting to enjoy watching kids TV programmes and 30 per cent rocking outfits that wouldn't seem out of place on youngsters.

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