Aging: Mind over Matter
“Aging is a fact of life. Looking your age is not.”
Research shows that your genes are only 25% responsible for visible signs of aging. So don’t blame your mum and dad for your early onset of fine lines and wrinkles. There are other factors such as stress, environment, nutrition, lifestyle and immunity that play a key role in how we age.
While we can’t turn back or even freeze the clock, we can make everyday lifestyle adjustments to make sure that aging can be just a number and not a reflection on how you physically look and mentally feel.
- Get active
Move it or loose it. As we get older, everything starts to slow down from our collagen production, our cell turnover and most importantly our energy levels.
One University study found that human levels of serotonin (the brain neurotransmitter that regulates mood, appetite, sleep and blood pressure) naturally decrease with age, often resulting in depression, anxiety and hardening of the arteries. Luckily, exercise is an excellent way to give serotonin levels a boost, as well as combat the effects of the stress hormone cortisol. Make it a habit to move your body for at least 30 minutes every day to keep your body physically healthy and mind mentally happy.
- Get plenty of Sleep
They call it beauty sleep for a reason. You should aim for eight hours of sleep a night to give your body enough time to recharge. While you’re sleeping, your body—and your skin—are hard at work healing themselves. During the deeper phases of sleep, your body produces growth hormone, which repairs daily damage from things like sun exposure and pollution and creates new cells so you wake up looking brighter, fresher and younger.
- Maintain a positive attitude.
The glass is either half empty or half full. How you choose to look at it effects your perspective on almost everything you do in life. The single most important factor in healthy aging is cultivating a positive outlook. Research shows that your attitude, resiliency and the way you cope with stress may be better predictors of healthy aging than physical disease or disability. So how do you attain—and maintain—a good attitude? It’s all about outlook. Begin by accepting that nothing in life is permanent and try to look for the silver lining in every situation. A great attitude can help you enjoy getting older, instead of dreading or simply tolerating it.
- Forget what you think you know about aging
Many of us have preconceived notions of what it means to age. Whether it’s new mums cutting off their long hair, or women in their 40’s deciding to ditch skirts forever, these choices are based on social stereotypes. Each generation is conditioned through television, books, movies, music and other aspects of culture about what people should act like, look like and even feel like as they grow older. We incorporate these beliefs into our subconscious and they become part of the factors that control how our genes work. The bottom line: If you think you’re old, you’ll act and look old, too.
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