We all associate age with endings, whether those relate to our ability to stay awake past midnight, dance for longer than an hour, or feel joy over the little things, and as such, we look for ways to delay its impact on our lives.
But while we cannot “turn back the clock” in a literal sense, we can do our best to safeguard our inner childlike sense of wonder, our curiosity and our bliss. And I have managed to do that with the help of seven simple mindset tweaks, which can help you bring out your immortal youth out of its aging cocoon.
If there’s one thing we have “unlearned” by being a part of this growingly hectic society, that would be to pace ourselves through life. We have become more impatient than ever, and the end results is that we spend our days in constant anticipation of that something else to happen, while life happens to us. And the fact that years have piled up doesn’t make it any less tempting to stay in this rushing state of mind.
To try and mitigate this perpetual traffic jam in my mind, I started meditating on a daily basis, or at least attempted to do so. At first it seemed completely useless, but over time, I found my way through the noise and into the silence of the present moment. By focusing on relaxing your face, your entire body and controlling your breath, you learn to embrace the now – and that is a wonderfully relaxing way to ward stress off, and keep your worries (and wrinkles) away.
Cherish your body
It felt easy to indulge in my sweet tooth every day when I thought I could burn off the pounds in a matter of days. Now, it’s no longer about the muffin top or the saggy arms that bother me, but more about the fact that my aging body actually ages faster if I make poor eating choices and sit all day long.
If you want energy and vitality in old age, or any stage of your life for that matter, you need to give your body the fuel it needs to flourish and keep challenging it through physical activity. That’s the only way your own biology will work to your own advantage to prevent time from depriving you of youth.
Embark on an adventure – every day
The sense of wide-eyed wonder will not sustain itself. As you go through the years, you need to give yourself ample opportunities to taste life from a different perspective, whether that means reading a new book, visiting a new country or learning a quirky dance, it’s up to you to find what makes you gasp, laugh out loud, and makes your heart race.
Try out new, exotic recipes, order a different coffee whenever you go out, take the less traveled road. Adventure in every shape and form keeps you young at heart, fills you with energy and vigor to take on new challenges, and say yes to new, unexpected experiences.
Nurture your friendships
Giggling, whispering and goofy dancing with a glass of wine at home aren’t limited to teenage girls or their thirty-something counterparts. You are fully entitled to and deserve to have your group of loyal friends who make you laugh, share your turmoil and help you forget your age.
Even if you find yourself living in a retirement home or depending on in home care professionals for your health and wellness, having close friends means that you can remain true to yourself, and feel valued for your authentic self, despite your aging body. Nothing can make you feel truly alive quite like a friend who shares your enthusiasm for living.
Even when the stuff hits the fan and you feel like frowning all day – take a deep look into the mirror and give yourself the gift of a genuine smile. It may not be that genuine at first, but more along the lines of a shy, timid smile, but let it sink in and take its effect, as smiling can make us happy.
And it’s not just because it’s good exercise for your face and keep some of your wrinkles at bay, but because smiling sends a clear message to your mind and to those around you: you are happy in your own skin.
Let go of your vices
If only I could continue to eat tons of chocolate every day guilt-free while enjoying my three healthy meals, I’d consider myself the luckiest woman alive. Alas, understanding that too many poor dietary choices and vices can take a toll on your health will give you the power to take control over your health and aging.
Smoking has never been my thing, but I know many avid cigarette-lovers who have become much happier and have shaved off years after only weeks after kicking the habit. The same goes for drinking, overeating and sitting – it piles years on top of your own decades.
Just like your body needs exercise to stay in good shape and cheat Father Time, your mind needs regular stimulation to retain its brisk pace. An open-minded attitude towards new experiences, and a desire to constantly build up on your existing personality and enrich it with new knowledge and skills is the only way to protect your true youth.
Many people change careers and start new ones well into their retirement, or they simply take up new hobbies to broaden their horizons. Abandon your comfort zone, and your silver years will be marked by freedom and joy very unlike the stereotypical representation of your age. Let go of that image and create a new, more vivid one for yourself.