AGING GRACEFULLY: How to look and feel younger!
Mark Twain quite aptly sums up my philosophy on aging, “Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” I say this because most people spend precious time worrying over aging and old age, and the more they worry – well the less likely they are to look younger. In fact! They age faster. In this article (lens), I will share with you four (4) key requirements for healthy living, looking younger and aging gracefully – spiritual health, physical health, mental health and emotional health.
Aging Gracefully Through Well-being
Aging is a natural and inevitable fact of life – unless you die young of course! So you should focus on your “quality of life” as you age, as opposed to the number count in years. And by your “quality of life”, I mean your physical,emotional, mental and spiritual well-being.
Since I love music, I find myself continually drawn to associating harmony in any area of life to music. Aging is no exception. In a typical choir, there are four (4) principal voice types – Soprano, Alto, Tenor & Bass – and all are necessary to bring full tonal quality and harmony to the choir. As you age, likewise, you need to take care of the physical, spiritual, mental and emotional dimensions of your life, if you are to enjoy a good “quality of life” and look younger . Don’t focus on any one realm to the disadvantage of the others, since all are required to bring balance to the human person.
Achieving Spiritual Health and Wellness
I believe that we are all principally spiritual beings, so I will speak to this dimension of well-being first. From as far back as history can record, men and women in civilizations all over the worls have always organized themselves into religions or cults with the specific objective of dealing with the spiritual person and matters not understood in the physical realm. Today, likewise, there are many religious sects and cults.
I won’t advocate joining a cult since, by its very definition, it points towards the bizarre and negative. That being said, whatever religious sect you join or belong to, make sure that it brings you inner peace, improves your relationship with God and your relationship with your fellow human beings.
Achieving Emotional Health and Wellness
Emotional well-being builds on the foundation of your spiritual health. If you don’t have inner peace then you are likely to express negative emotions, such as, depression, sadness, moodiness, anxiety, constant complaining and criticism, most, if not all of the time.
You can actively take charge of your emotional health by committing to repeatedly express positive emotions, even in the face of challenging circumstances. Here are some examples:
Develop a thankful spirit: Express thanks to God and Angels for the elements (sun, moon, water, air), friends, family, your job, your talents and skills. Say thank you to friends, family and strangers for the little as well as big things they do for you.
Laugh and smile often: You don’t have to walk around grinning from ear to ear whole day or be the “class or office” clown. Watch a comedy! Read a few jokes! Listen to children; they’re always asking strange questions or saying “funny” things.
Surprise someone with a good deed or a small gift: It’s amazing how you can get a warm feeling inside when you see the smile that an unexpected gift or deed brings to someone’s face.
Empathize with others: The human condition is such that circumstances such as, illness, misfortune, death and grief, can befall us at any time and in different proportions. By empathizing with others, you would have helped someone along life’s journey and might just help save someone from committing suicide.
Achieving Mental Health and Wellness
Once you’re enjoying spiritual and emotional health, then you’ve created the foundation for mental health and wellness. As you age, however, you are more susceptible or predisposed to experience declining mental health due to aging of the brain. The most common manifestation of this is a condition known as dementia, in the first stage, which could then worsen to Alzheimer’s. However, you can keep your mind active and healthy, stay mentally alert and stave off Alzheimer’s disease by doing a combination of the following activities:
Play Games: Play one of the numerous strategy, word and board games available each day. Games such as, Scrabble, Crosswords, Bingo, Chess, Word Search, Backgammon, Cards, to name a few.
Volunteer in church or community groups: Many church and community organizations could benefit from your time and experience at no cost.
Mentor the young: Young people don’t like to be told what to do but you can subtly provide guidance to one or more young persons as you notice them struggling with life issues.
Achieving Physical Health and Wellness
Taking care of your physical health involves eating healthy, engaging in daily exercise and taking care of your skin.
Always remember to eat from the five (5) major food groups each day – Grains, Vegetables, Fruits, Milk, Meat & Beans – in order to provide your body with the right mix of nutrients. Use a good vitamin supplement, to satisfy any nutrition deficiencies you may have or to boost your diet. And don’t forget to DRINK YOUR WATER; 8 glasses a day!
You can reduce the aches, pains and “creaks”, by doing daily exercises that warm up, engage, strengthen and tone the whole body. These exercises don’t have to be strenuous and could involve the following:
Beginner yoga exercises
Walking in the park, along the beach or in the mall.
Swimming or moving around in a pool or the beach.
Share with us if you have any other Natural Ways to Beat Aging!?