There may be a grain of truth to the benefits of a young outlook, but you still need to take steps to stay healthy as you age. There is much you can do to enjoy life even when you retire.
However, you have to be aware of the fact that many of the steps you might take to regain your health and restore your beauty may have no effects at all. This is particularly true if your only strategy to combat the march of time is to rely on anti-aging products and services. Anti-aging is a huge industry with many products that fail to live up to their marketing promises.
How big is this industry? It’s a multi-billion dollar business. According to a review article on HighYa, “….the anti-aging industry rakes in nearly $300 billion per year based on your desire to look younger.”
This is not to say that all products and services are scams. While many are overpriced and fail to deliver value, a few do exactly what they claim. Look for supplements that nourish your body with essential nutrients you can’t get from your diet, exercise equipment that is easier on your bones and joints, and beauty products that use natural ingredients to help your body fight free-radical damage and loss of collagen and skin elasticity.
However, you need much more than the right products and services to stay younger for a longer time.
You also need some solid anti-aging strategies:
With that in mind, here are 3 strategies that will help you stay healthy and mentally alert into your advanced years:
- Get better at coping with change.
Change is difficult for everyone, but as we get older, it appears to happen faster. If we don’t learn psychological coping skills on how to handle our sense of shock, grief, or discomfort, we can age much faster. The mind influences the body.
Here are some common experiences associated with aging:
- · Children move away to establish their careers and raise their families.
- · Parents, relatives, and close friends die.
- · Careers come to an end.
- · Independence may be lost as the cost of living becomes less affordable on social security or a retirement income.
- · Financial pressures associated with living on a fixed income may not be able to keep pace with the rate of inflation.
- · Declining health can make it more difficult to do many of the things we once loved.
Many psychological modalities exist to help older adults cope with these changes. Instead of struggling with confusion or repressing grief, seek counseling or find alternative therapies. The right healing modalities and the camaraderie available through group therapy can help you cope better with losses and difficult changes.
- Continue to reinvent yourself.
The biggest crisis facing older adults is feeling useless. After years of raising a family, contributing to a community, and earning a good living, they suddenly find themselves with nothing to do as they sit at home.
Watching television, reading newspapers, and finding new places to eat can quickly become boring. Isolation, loneliness, and too little to do can quickly change into a state of chronic apathy.
Find ways to pursue favorite hobbies like arts and crafts, keep physically active and stay socially connected. Find causes to champion and interesting things to learn and master. And find good friends who share your interests.
- Don’t buy into myths about aging.
By generalizing how other people age, we come to erroneous conclusions about the aging process. The most dangerous myths are the ones you believe in.
Here are 4 common myths to challenge:
- · Health declines and disabilities are inevitable.
- · Memory loss is a part of aging.
- · You’re too old to learn new things.
- · You’re destined for a lonely, isolated lifestyle.
While many older adults may experience illness, memory loss, difficulty learning, and loneliness and isolation, it’s not true for everyone. Many people have remained healthy into their later years, able to walk around and do many of the things they have always loved doing. Many people still continue their intellectual pursuits when they got older. And many people have continued to be actively involved in family and community events.
The difference between the two groups is not always a genetic one. Intention and creating the right environment has a lot to do with it. It’s often 50% due to genes and 50% doing things on a regular basis to stay looking and feeling young. Those who aged differently do things differently. They exercise regularly and eat healthy diets. They continue to pursue their intellectual interests. They travel to interesting places around the world. And they make an effort to continue to contribute to the welfare of others around them.
How to Age Gracefully
Learning healthy psychological strategies, continuing to reinvent yourself, and not falling prey to the many myths about the aging process will go a long way in helping you stay healthy as you age. Naturally, they are not the only strategies you can pursue, but they will certainly give you an edge over those who fall prey to unresolved grief over inevitable losses, apathy because of a boring lifestyle, and an unquestioned belief in myths about aging.