Let’s be frank; every single one of us is getting older. This is an inescapable fact for every living human, and it’s not something that anyone can avoid.
So, why is the concept - and reality - of getting older swept under the rug and largely ignored? Why are we afraid of aging? And is it possible to age well?
In this article, we’ll discuss a few tips to slow the effects of aging, as well as a surprising secret that can help you to age like fine wine.
Getting Older: What Are We Afraid Of?
Aging is synonymous with loss. We may worry about losing our health, our mobility, our beauty, and other qualities that a youthful person takes for granted.
It’s also a sad fact that our modern media is somewhat ageist, especially when it comes to women. Actors and actresses in their early twenties are used to play characters a decade older, giving a false impression of what a person should look like at that age.
Socialites and celebrities are held up as the standard of what a person should look like at 40, 50, 60, or beyond, forgetting that the average person doesn’t have that kind of money, time, or drive to stay looking perpetually young.
With all of this bombarding us - as well as the constant fear of declining health - it’s not surprising that aging is seen as something terrible.
Tips to Slow the Effects of Aging
“Aging well” is usually applied to someone who doesn’t show any external signs of aging. However, loss of youthful skin and beauty isn’t nearly so important as retaining one’s health. If you take care of your health, supple skin and good looks are likely to stick around for longer.
Simply put, a few wrinkles and gray hairs won’t hurt you - but a bad lifestyle might. Let’s discuss a few tips to help slow the effects of aging.
It’s no secret that taking care of your health contributes to longevity. Certain lifestyle choices and habits may make you look older before your time. For example, using tobacco products yellows the teeth and skin, and raises your risk of certain types of cancer.
Excessive alcohol consumption can also age you before your time, as well as too much tanning (which can emphasize wrinkles), plastic surgery, and more. A healthy lifestyle is one of the best weapons in your arsenal for the battle against aging.
A Balanced Diet
Eating well is the best way to improve your health. That doesn’t mean you can’t treat yourself now and then, but a healthy diet significantly reduces the risk of many diseases, as well as helping to combat obesity and keep you fit.
Exercise is beneficial in the same way a good diet is beneficial. It keeps our body fit and healthy. Exercise becomes even more important as we age since it keeps bones strong and joints flexible.
Let’s not mince words here: stress is a killer. Excess stress puts strain on our bodies, as well as seriously impacting our mental health.
It’s not always possible to remove all causes of stress, but do what you can to keep your stress levels low. If you can’t remove a cause of stress, find a good coping mechanism to deal with it.
The Secret To Aging Well
Unfortunately, that tiny pot of expensive cream which promises to “reverse the effects of aging” is not going to work. Aging well takes work, time, and a generous helping of good luck. In fact, aging well is something that can take a lifetime.
So, what’s the big secret to aging well?
The secret may surprise you: it’s contentment.
Aside from living well and taking care of yourself, how many wrinkles you get and how quickly your hair goes gray is largely down to genetics. Living a life that makes you happy and content, however, gives you a kind of inner peace that can make a person seem young, no matter what their age.
Good health that continues into “old age” isn’t the only sign of aging well. Some older people begin to believe that their life is over and living vicariously through children and grandchildren is their only remaining joy in life.
This quite clearly is not true. Joy and contentment can - and should - be found at any age. Regardless of what happens to our outer bodies, contentment can remain forever. Rather than focusing on what you used to be, or opportunities you think you’ve missed, focus on what you are now.
While age doesn’t necessarily mean wisdom, it’s a fact of life that older people tend to have more knowledge, experience, and an innate understanding of human nature that only time can bring.
Learning to be content with who you are - at any age! - is nothing short of a valuable skill, and skills take practice. Once again, we can say that aging well is something that takes a lifetime to achieve.
Embracing Your Age
Learning to truly love yourself and achieve contentment often means rejecting modern standards. For example, older people may feel as if there’s no place for them in mainstream media. Advertisements, entertainment, and modern attitudes all focus on eternal youth, which is neither fair nor realistic.
Don’t let others set your expectations. Instead of seeing wrinkles, scars, an aging body, or (horror of horrors) a slightly expanding waistline as some kind of failure, view it as a success. You have lived a full life, with achievements, loves, losses, and valuable experience.
No matter how old you are, adopting this outlook is the vital first step to true contentment. If you’re truly content, you know that even though you may not be able to hold back the passage of time, you won’t fear it.
This knowledge in itself gives peace of mind, helping you to combat stress, anxiety, the weight of others’ expectations, and your own harsh self-judgment.
Take a moment, right now, to appreciate yourself for who you are and what you’ve become. Think of how far you’ve come.And if you’re looking to combat the dreaded age-related weight gain, sign up for our FREE masterclass today. Untangle the confusion behind working out and eating healthy, and how you can lose weight and keep it off for good this time.