I’ve spent countless years setting up markers for myself that needed to be completed by a certain age. As though turning 30 or 40 was “it” and if I didn’t have it all figured out by then, I may as well just throw in the towel. I’m embarrassed to say that I was guilty of chasing the clock for far too long. And now, at the age of 44, my perspective on aging has drastically changed. I went from an aging mentality to embracing an ageless attitude, and life is so much better for it. It’s a mindset, it really is.
Ageless living 101
The world is changing. We’re living longer, thriving at work, looking younger and feeling more vibrant than generations before. If you really want to slow down the hands of time, it starts with taking care of yourself. Aging is going to happen, no matter what. It’s how you handle it that makes all the difference. For example, my mom. A few months ago, she slipped on a wet floor at a restaurant and broke her hip. She was told by the doctor that being over 60 was a huge factor in her healing process (a remark my mother, an avid traveler and life go-getter, did not take too well), and that she needed a full hip replacement. I had to remind her (many times) about her great eating habits and exercise routine, and that she is not your regular 60-something year old.
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She ended up not getting her hip replaced, and is doing quite well. She’s not only walking but she’s driving about town and living her life. Her quicker recovery had much to do with that shift in her mindset. Initially, she was very upset and and felt like the I’ve fallen and I can’t get up lady. Yes, that is what she visualized every time she replayed her fall in her head. The doctor made her feel so old, she was sure she wouldn’t recover. She proved him wrong. She’s on the road to recovery, and back to her ageless perennial self.
Same for me. Lifestyle choices make a huge difference in how we age and how we feel. If you want to adapt a more ageless mindset, here a few tips and things to think about.
Your body is your temple.
Take care of it. I mean it. If you don’t, it will get really angry and bite back. Don’t ignore that back pain, those headaches, stomach cramps, swelling…anything and everything that does not seem right. Your body is speaking to you all the time. Get a handle on what you’re eating and how your body is responding to it. Go for walks, take in the sunshine, drink water, eat your veggies (get in those antioxidants!), remove unnecessary stressors, schedule in more me time and QT with loved ones (date nights, romance). More happiness and good health is your fountain of youth. Stress and a bad diet will expedite the aging process causing inflammation and the breakdown of your organs.
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Say buh-bye to inflammation.
Ever since I started seeing a naturopath, I’ve been on a mission to get rid of all the inflammation in my body. I had no idea that it can cause so much havoc and even increase the chances of a cardio-vascular event. I got rid of gluten. lessened grains, dairy and sugar. I feel a lot more alert and less bloated and fatigued. You can’t be an ageless, vibrant being if you need a nap after each meal.
To blessed to be stressed.
I mean, stress happens. It’s unavoidable. How we cope is on us. This is something I actually need to be better at handling, admittedly. This native New Yorker has learned some pretty hard-to-break habits when it comes to stress, and I have to work at it everyday. My TMJ disorder caused me so much stress, I sprouted a ton of white hairs during that time and I gained weight. Almost over night. Did I mention I’ve also been divorced twice? Um, yea. I know stress well.
Too much cortisol will age you, and eventually kill you. Remove anything (including people!) that does not suit you and make sure you pay attention to your parasympathetic system. Breathing, meditation, walks, art work, singing (whatever floats your boat) should be top on your list.
I know this all sounds easier than done. But we have a lot more control over the way we age than we think. Wrinkles are not your problem. You can look and feel more radiant and youthful than a person half your age. Crows feet and all. Being ageless is about vitality and having a zest for life, no matter the age.
Adapting an ageless attitude will add years to your life. And, if you ever do fall like the I’ve fallen and I can’t get up lady, you will recover a lot quicker!