The most important thing that you can do in the war against aging is to practice plenty of self-care. By taking care of yourself as a whole – physically, mentally, and emotionally – you can slow the aging process in all of those areas.
You want to especially be on the lookout for stress because stress ages you. Not only does stress age you on the inside because it can cause health related problems to crop up, but it ages you on the outside as well.
When you’re stressed, your body produces more cortisol. Too much cortisol damages the skin and makes it look far older than it actually is. Here are some self care ideas that can help you live a peaceful and relaxed life.
How Spirituality Can Help Fight Aging
Being spiritual isn’t necessarily linked with any religion, though it can be. Becoming spiritual simply means that you learn to release any negativity that keeps your feelings in turmoil.
This may be negativity associated with wrongs committed against you. Or it could be situations that didn’t work out and you still feel some lingering resentment. By letting go of those negative emotions, you free yourself.
By forgiving the things that have gone on in your life, you break the bond that links you emotionally to that situation. Changing how you feel and look at life inwardly can lead to positive changes in your health – and that includes giving you a younger looking appearance.
Peace, the kind of peace that can only be found in giving yourself the freedom you deserve, can give you relief from stress. It can also put you on the road to profound happiness that radiates from within.
In everyone, there is a link between the spirit, emotions and the body. When the spirit is free, the body can heal – as well as the emotions. Some people refer to this as a higher self or living on a higher plane of existence.
When you align your body with your higher self, you gain empowerment. You’re set loose to accept the grace, the peace and the happiness that can flow naturally to you and from within you.
You gain clarity and connection that enables you to put stress in its proper place in your life. You learn to see events, both good and bad, as things that can help you grow as a person.
Some people refer to this as mindfulness. It means that you make sure you remain in the present. You don’t spend time worrying about the future or what it might bring.
Instead, you concentrate on enjoying the here and now. This has also been referred to as keeping negativity at bay. Having a positive mental attitude can go a long way toward preventing aging – and attitude and spirituality go hand in hand.
How do you enhance your spirituality? First, it requires you to take time to be still and present. Don’t be in a place that’s loud and distracting. You can then use some form of mental clarity exercise like meditation to let go of negative thoughts and usher in more positive ones.
Even if you’re practicing a certain religion, you can often pick up spiritual tips that align with your own beliefs when you start investigating other religions and spiritual studies. Gaining wisdom is a cornerstone of increased spirituality.
Practice Affirmations to Wind Back the Clock
Some people in their seventies look and act decades younger. When you observe them, you can tell that they’re not just moving through life – they’re living it with gusto – and they’re enjoying every second of it.
This is because people like that practice the belief that being young is all in the mind. It’s how you perceive life. What you think and believe really does have an impact on your appearance and on how you feel.
If you think that you’re old, you’ll begin to act that way and move that way. That’s why you’ll see some people in their fifties that shuffle around like they’re over a hundred years old.
When we were children, we couldn’t wait to grow older and really start living our lives. But when we’re older, we want to be young again. Many people lament that the years of their youth are now gone.
But you can fight aging both mentally and physically. The key is found in positive affirmations. By utilizing the practice of positive affirmations, you can give yourself the same things that kept you young as a child.
Remember how the world was one big place just waiting to be explored? You can have that same enthusiasm for life and that same belief that life is good. Affirmations can help you fight aging because they give stress the boot and free you from the anxiety that can age you.
You can regain the joy that you had in your childhood and literally set yourself free emotionally from aging. There are tons of tools that you can buy that can guide you to learning anti-aging affirmations.
But you can also create some of your own. Affirmations mean to affirm, to encourage or to declare. So keep that in mind if you choose to write your affirmations.
You’ll be amazed at how much better you feel once you put this into practice. Some examples of positive affirmations that you can use are, “Every day I look and feel younger” and “My body is full of energy and health.”
It’s not so much what you say but that the words you use are positive and affirm your anti-aging belief. You want to practice saying your affirmations or listening to the recordings of them every day.
You’ll find these recordings listed under categories like hypnosis for anti-aging or rejuvenation. Whatever affirmations you decide to use, make sure that you say them clearly and that you say them out loud.
Saying them out loud helps reaffirm what you’re saying. During the time that you’re doing the exercise, if any negative thoughts come to mind, push them aside. Affirmations reach your subconscious mind to stimulate it and give you mental changes that are positive in nature.
Get Stress Relief to Feel Good About Life
There is too much medical evidence proving that stress ages the body in all kinds of ways. In fact, stress can do such a number on you that it can easily make you feel twice the age that you actually are.
Stress is going to happen, but it doesn’t have to take over your life. In fact, stress doesn’t have to steal any of your time except a passing glance – if that. There really is a way to live with relatively little stress and experience peace and calm.
What you want to do first is to identify any stress triggers. Get those addressed right away. For example, if handling your finances stresses you out, delegate the task to a trusted relative.
Whatever you don’t have to deal with that stresses you, just don’t. It’s a matter of letting go of what doesn’t really matter in the long run. And make sure that you don’t become the dumping ground for someone else’s stress.
Your own stress – plus handling someone else’s stress – is an anti-aging buster. Affirmations like we mentioned earlier help with stress and anti-aging too. Guided imagery is another way to de-stress your life.
This is a practice that leads you into a state of relaxation. It’s a great way to practice stress therapy that can free you from the toll that stress can take on the body.
Meditation is also helpful when you need to get rid of stress. There are a lot of different types of meditation that you can get involved with. Some have a spiritual base, but some don’t.
What some people do is to use a specific method such as yoga that also has a mantra that’s used with the meditation. There are forms of meditation that teach users how to perform deep breathing exercises and this is a good way to get relief from stress very quickly.
Keeping a journal is a way to get stress relief, too. Keeping a journal where you can write about your feelings helps to release any pent-up emotions. You can do what some psychologists suggest and keep a gratitude journal. By keeping a journal of all of the things that you’re grateful about, you’re introducing the positive.
This helps fight stress because there’s a strong connecting between stress and negative events and negative emotions. Make sure there’s plenty of laughter in your life.
Laughing is good medicine that can give you stress relief and it’s good for your body in other ways, too. You can watch funny movies or listen to funny songs. Some people find that watching videos of babies laughing is enough to make them laugh, too – and it can be short snippets like the viral videos on YouTube.
Take a hike. Getting out of the house and going for a regular walk helps relax your body and release endorphins. It can calm the mind – and breathing in the fresh air releases stress.
Find a hobby that you really enjoy. Maybe you had something that you really enjoyed doing when you were younger, but you gave it up. You can get right back into doing it.
Many hobbies relieve stress because doing something that you enjoy, something that gives you pleasure, makes you feel good about yourself and makes you feel happy.
Socializing Makes You Younger
Having friends or groups of people that you regularly spend time with can help keep you younger. When you’re around other people, you have someone that you can share ideas with.
You also gain a sense of belonging and there’s someone to talk to if you need someone to listen. By socializing, you’ll spend time with people that can walk through life with you.
Having common ground can also help because you know that someone else understands what you’re experiencing. When you socialize, you stay more active and by being active, that helps with stress relief as well as anti-aging.
Engaging in social activities with others helps you have a positive mental attitude – and that can have a good impact on your health. Socializing also keeps your stress hormone lower.
It helps with your cognitive skills by keeping your brain active. A lot of people have plenty of friends, but would like more. Some people are looking to connect with more people to build a bigger social circle.
You can find ways to connect and grow your social circle by engaging in activities where you can meet people that have similar interests. For example, if you’re really into cooking and you’d like to learn how to make gourmet foods, you can take a cooking class.
There, you’ll meet people who have the same interests that you do. You can also get involved at the community center where you live. A community center often has a lot of opportunities.
There can be classes on painting or guitar lessons. You can find people teaching classes on playing the piano or learning how to do CPR. If you have special skills that can benefit others, you can even sign up to teach a class at a community center and broaden your social circle that way.
Some people choose to get involved in activities such as coaching children’s sports team. Socialization boosts your immune system. Some people mistakenly think that being around a lot of other people can lead to getting more germs that lead to illnesses.
But being around a lot of other people actually helps you remain healthy. You’ll also find that the more that you socialize, the more sleep you’re able to get when you go to bed.
This goes back to the fact that socialization helps you feel good and is good for relieving stress. Spending time with others not only helps fight anti-aging, it also promotes longevity.
Volunteering Is an Anti-Aging Tool
Volunteering has many positive benefits for your mind and your body. It can keep you feeling connected with others, especially if you once had an active social life and for some reason, you don’t now.
Volunteering can help ward off depression if you’re feeling lonely. For many people, being stuck in social isolation is a key trigger for depression. This is especially true for anyone that’s lost a long-term spouse.
By volunteering regularly, you’ll feel a greater sense of community. You’ll notice health benefits when you volunteer. By spending time giving to others, it raises your sense of well-being.
Noticing a decrease in chronic pain is something that many people who volunteer notice. Plus, staying active through volunteer work gives you a routine – and that’s something that benefits you at any age.
When you give back to your community, you’ll feel happier. The reason for this is because feeling good gives you a serotonin boost. Not only will you feel better physically, but you’ll feel better about yourself.
Volunteering can give you a higher level of self-confidence. Another benefit of volunteering is gaining new skills. Some people like to volunteer at hospitals and will take a CPR class before they get started.
Other volunteers might work in the gift shop of a hospital or volunteer at a school to help children who need some extra tutoring. There are all sorts of community programs and nonprofit organizations looking for people to act as volunteers. You could help a lot of people as well as yourself by becoming a volunteer.
The Anti-Aging Benefits of Having a Pet
People who own pets gain a lot of health benefits. Having a pet can alleviate stress, keep your blood pressure at healthy levels and stimulate your cognitive skills.
Pets can have a calming effect on people and this helps those who own an animal to feel less stressed and enjoy peace. Studies have shown that people who have a pet don’t have as much stress as people who don’t have one.
Pets are great companions, too. They can help people deal with negative emotions. They offer unwavering loyalty and support. Plus, pets help boost the activity level in people who have a pet.
Exercise can become a daily routine when you have a dog, for example. Those who own pets often find that they enjoy being outdoors more than they did before they got a pet.
Having a pet can also broaden your social circle. You can meet people at the dog park or at the vet’s office and wherever you take your dog in to be groomed – even the pet store where you’re often allowed to bring your four-legged friend inside.
Animals can also be great deterrents against the emotional impact that some people struggle with as they do get older. Some people discover that as they age, they begin to experience feelings of loneliness or depression.
Sometimes, grief can come into play. Having a pet can help a person have something that fills a lonely void in their lives. For those who once had a busy life that revolved around children’s activities and shuttling them back and forth, having a pet can give them back a sense of purpose.
It helps to have something to take care of in a way that’s not burdensome. Before you get a pet, you might want to consider adopting an older animal who no longer has a family.
When you’re aging, you may not want a spry little puppy to keep up with, but a gentle, older companion who would sit on your lap and follow you around the house just perfect.
Self care routines aren’t just one task that you add to your daily to do list. It’s a way of life that requires you to put yourself first. Maybe you’ve heard airline workers talk about the importance of putting your oxygen mask on first so that you can then take care of those around you.
Life works in much the same way. Your friends, family and loved ones need you to take care of and love yourself so that you can be a good friend and loved one to them.
Make sure you nurture yourself each and every day. Don’t neglect your self care – whether that’s finding time to meditate or making plans to go out and have brunch with a good friend – it will help reverse the aging process by keeping you youthful mentally – and physically!
Vivianne de la Vega says