As we grow older, our body goes through many changes. We no longer can run as fast as we did as a child; going on a trek feels impossible and whatnot. It almost feels as if, with the aging process, the vitality we once had vanished all of a sudden, ultimately leaving us worried and stressed. All of a sudden, coming to terms with losing your looks haunts your mind, making it even more challenging to deal with, acknowledge, and embrace the aging process.
Part of the struggle with aging is also due to cultural expectations. For example, we are expected to get married and have a child at a certain age. The culture and society deem us to become more mature and have responsibilities. In fact, it’s not wrong to be responsible or mature, it’s just that the amount of fun you have as an adult significantly reduces due to responsibilities, something that is overlooked as part of the aging process.
But, aging is just a mind game! You are as young as you want your mind to think you are. As Mark Twain said, “Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you do not mind, it does not matter.”
Is Age Really A Number & What Does Science Say?
The infamous quote, “age is just a number” might as well have some hidden truth. In fact, you are as old as you trick your mind into being. What is more important is how you perceive yourself. Scientists call this subjective aging. The study was published by the Department of Psychology, Seoul National University, South Korea. The findings of the study suggest that subjective age is closely related to the process of brain aging, meaning how you perceive yourself.
The study also found that elderly individuals who perceived themselves as younger than their real age showed not only superior social cognition but also younger predicted brain age and neurocognitive health.
We know it’s easier said than done.
Cognitive skills do decline slightly as we age, but there are effective ways to improve cognitive abilities.
Most women and, surprisingly, some men too, are afraid to grow old. Every year since I turned 30, I also have had this fear of aging. What I never realized is that I am letting this worry age me more than the actual time.
To be honest, the whole aging process is more about mental, psychological transition rather than physical changes.
Why Are We Terrified To Grow Old?
Here are some common reasons why people are so afraid of the aging process.
- Studies show that people have depressive thoughts about aging because of lack of physical strength, death of loved ones, inability to support loved ones financially, and dependence on family.
- The inevitable aging process is often perceived as poor health like cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, and heart disease.
- Furthermore, another research shows death anxiety is another reason for people feeling sad for getting older.
Over the centuries, society and culture limit the individual. In many countries, a person retires at the age of 60 to 65, making them obsolete as if their capabilities have suddenly declined.
However, beauty and aging are all about perception! If you believe you no longer are meant to do something in life just because the societal norms made you feel inadequate and unhealthy, it is something you need to rethink. For instance, you find men and women trying to learn a new art, even after the age of 70.
They want to learn a new skill and adopt a new lifestyle because they want their mind to be eternally young. It is indeed inspiring because they have all the time in the world to start from a clean slate. Just as wine gets better with aging, get better before yesterday until the day you die!
Aging is in mind; all you need to do to age graciously is to follow these simple life rules.
Easy Ways To Deal With The Aging Process
You no longer have to dread the beautiful process of aging. Here are a few tips that can help you deal with aging healthily.
1. Love Thyself
As much as you might dread to accept the loss of looking like your younger self, don’t put your soul in a box and label your age.
Yes, physical appearances do matter at times, but they are not as important as your mind and spirit. Putting your exterior looks in a compartment that defines how you should feel would only turn into a burden as you age.
While we tend to use the words ‘Youth’ and ‘Beauty’ interchangeably, Snapchat and Instagram filters are all its contributors.
Many cosmetic companies make huge profits out of the pressure it has on the people.
In fact, recent research from Dove demonstrated that women take 14 selfies on average until they click that one photo free of any pimple, blemish marks, and pigmentation. All it does is negatively impact one’s self-esteem in the long term.
Why should one fit in a particular parameter that is most of the time fake? The primary fear feeds these businesses that sell youth and beauty.
Our bodies are indeed nothing more than a vehicle for our soul. Take care of the vehicle, and the spirit will automatically be looked after.
Love your body, mind, and souls as people who love and take care of their overall well-being tend to live longer and happier.
2. Change Your Perspective
Once you change your outlook, life starts to look vibrant again. The frown turns into a smile!
Instead of believing you have lost the vitality, take aging as a gift and a time machine because you get to have all the time in the world, like once you were a child.
Aging is indeed a gift only when you shift your mindset towards positivity and spend time in:
You have been in a rat race all your life, and now once you are retired or even a non-working parent, you can live your life once more the way you want it.
Revise how you perceive aging and leverage the time to strike off your to-do's on the bucket list.
3. Recognize - Your Actions Define You
Let the society norms be!
Although society would want the younger generation because of their hardworking nature, it is the older generation who is more ahead in life in terms of experience and wisdom.
A recent cognitive science study on the topic pointed out that, older people have more information in their brains making it slightly slower to process so much information. On the other hand, older people are wiser and pay attention to detail. They outperformed the younger generation when it comes to fine-grained answers.
Age has very little to do with the quality of life and happiness. The quality of life decreases when a person becomes inactive since life holds no meaning for them, ultimately succumbing to depression for having nothing left in life.
However, a person's worth is evaluated by the kind of work they do that brings them joy. We are all so fixated on the job and money; that we often tend to overlook the things that truly bring content to us.
Pursue those things that you love and give you satisfaction. Are you happy at your work? Do you dread Mondays or feel Sunday night anxieties? Pay attention to the cues and start taking action to have more control of your life. Your actions define who you are and not your age. If you are happy, your age would not matter as much. Think about it.
4. Believe In What You Want To
On that note, simply following the things what is expected of you and turning a blind eye to the things you care about, can do more harm than good. We, humans, always tend to be fooled by expectations. Like any other age, old age, too, can become a house of prejudiced assumptions. For instance, if you believe you want to be a scientist, engineer, or even a fashion model, then no one can deny that.
Hence, always choose to believe in your own experience, follow your heart, and not someone’s expectations. This ideology holds true for all people of all ages. Never limit yourself and keep broadening your horizon.
5. Keep Good Company
We can never give enough emphasis on the importance of having a healthy relationship with a social circle. According to studies, a healthy social life promotes:
- Mental health
- Meaningful relationships
- Physical health
Therefore, it is imperative to surround yourself with a great company of good friends for your well-being throughout life.
However, a great company does not mean you need to hang out with people your age. Spend time with people who make you happy, be it a person from the younger generation, a child, or even an old retired person.
It is an exhilarating feeling to engage with people as you get to learn in the process too.
By keeping company with curious, funny, and kind people, you would notice that people of all age groups have something to share. With a diverse group, you learn as well as teach a few things. In the end, it makes you active, if nothing else.
6. Have Unlimited Fun And LOL For Happy Aging
Laugh out loud, literally! Having fun shouldn't be age-limited. Who said having a jolly time is limited to a particular age group? Be silly, be goofy, be a child, be full of surprises, and be surprised.
We all know laughter can be a cure for all worries and diseases. Truth be told, age has nothing to do with being happy or beautiful. Enjoy your old age by graciously accepting it and yet not let it bother you. Embrace it with love, love everything about it, be happy, and stay crazy.
After all, having fun is not age-restricted! We get old but how we age is only in our heads!
7. Foods That Slow Aging
If you're still not convinced about the lifestyle changes that can keep your brain younger, here's something you can feed it.
Below are some of the brain foods that slow the physical appearance of aging such as wrinkles or cracks.
- Sweet potatoes
- Green tea
- Red bell pepper
Including these anti-aging foods can help fight the signs of aging on your skin.
We understand it can be intimidating to deal with the whole aging process. Coming to terms with losing the best of your looks is hard. But you are more than just how you look.
Letting aging prevent your happiness, and making you feel sad about growing old is not a healthy process. Be alive and full of life, and try to achieve your goals. There are so many things you can do with the time at your hand. Don't let them go to waste!
What are your thoughts on aging? Leave behind your comments below. We love to hear from you! Also, do not forget to subscribe to us and stay tuned for our bi-weekly newsletter.
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Key Takeaways On Dealing With Aging
- Dealing with the aging process can be intimidating for many people.
- The primary reasons for people not accepting the aging process are lack of physical strength, death anxiety, dependency on family members, and inability to support loved ones financially.
- Additionally, old age is perceived as the onset of declining health leading to cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, or heart diseases.
- A study published by the Department of Psychology from the Seoul National University suggests that subjective age is closely related to the process of brain aging, meaning how you perceive yourself.
- However, there are ways one can come to terms with losing their looks and embrace the aging process.
- Loving yourself and taking care of yourself during old age is one of the fundamentals of coping with aging.
- Furthermore, bringing a positive shift in the mindset makes the aging process a happy journey.
- Keeping good company and doing what you love is also key to stay mentally young and embrace a happy aging process.
- Lastly, having fun with your social circle can prevent you from feeling sad and make you deal with the aging process healthily.
How to deal with aging as a woman?
While it's more difficult for women to come to terms with losing their youthful looks, it's essential to accept the aging process wholeheartedly for one to deal with it. Here are a few tips for women to accept the aging process:
- Eat a healthy diet.
- Stay physically active.
- Keep dressing up as you used to at a young age.
- Take care of your mental health.
- Go out and meet people
How can I stop obsessing over my age?
- Embrace self-love.
- Make gratitude a part of your life.
- Take care of your physical and mental well-being.
- Manage your stress with the help of yoga and meditation.