Tips for being Ageless
It was very perceptive that my children choose letter Happy Birthday candles over numbers for my recent birthday. Why? Because birthday numbers contribute to the cultural beliefs we hold about certain ages: how we should act; look; dress; activities we can or can't do; and what state of health is considered normal for our age.
When I completed my Neuro Linguistic Programming certificate decades ago, the key takeaway for me was about being conscious of the words we use and to continually strive to use positive affirming language. In fact, I wrote my Herbal Medicine dissertation on how the language used by the practitioner affects the healing outcomes in the patient. What we tell ourselves sticks and creates our reality.
As I get older, this means keeping negative ageist language out of my vocabulary and helping others reframe their thoughts and language on ageing. Working along-side this of course, are making the lifestyle choices to keep us in optimal physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health.
Not matter what age you are, how you grow older is entirely up to you.
Tips for being Ageless
Choose your words wisely
Pay attention to the words you use when you speak about growing older and the meaning you give to those words. Studies have found that individuals with positive perceptions about aging live around seven and half times longer than those with negative perceptions and have a better quality of life. In studies where people were exposed to words like feeble and forgetful, they responded worse on memory and balance tests and walked away from the study site at a slower pace. Common phrases to get rid of are “I’m “having a senior moment “, “at my age” and “I’m too old for that.” Tell yourself what you can do, not what you can’t do.
Brainstorm a list of all the words/phrases you say to yourself about aging. Then go through and replace them with life affirming ones.
Amend your beliefs
Doctors Martinez and Northrup say your beliefs are stronger than your genes. What are your beliefs about getting older? Do you believe that at a certain age it’s all downhill from there or do you think you can do anything? If your joints are starting to ache, do you automatically think, ‘well it’s probably arthritis at my age so there’s nothing I can do about it.’ Do you think you need to start dressing a certain way? Do you think you have stop doing certain activities? Aging doesn’t have to mean decline and deterioration. There are many examples of people in their later years doing amazing things. See some of them here and here.
List down all your beliefs on aging in one column. Go through the list and amend the ones that will age you.
Age proof yourself
There is a difference between biological age (the age of your cells) and chronological age (the age you are in years based on your date of birth). Lifestyle improvements can help you grow biologically younger. The physical effects we assign to aging can start early, for example, loss of muscle mass can start in your 20’s, if you have a sedentary lifestyle. Don’t blame your health issues on your age, instead seek help from relevant health practitioners and make the changes required to be at your best. Focus on what’s working well.
What changes to do you need to make? A health coach could help you identify these and the strategies needed for improvement.
Never stop learning
Challenging your mind, can lower the risk of developing dementia. Try to learn something new every few months. This could be reading a book on a new topic, learning a language, playing an instrument, learning a new craft skill, participating in a drama club etc.
Make a list now of the things you’d like to learn. Look into how you can learn at least one on your list now.
Surround yourself with other ageless people
Spend time with other people who want to stay physically and mentally healthy. Dr Northrup says, “community equals immunity.”
Read more about these ideas
Dr Christiane Northrup, Goddesses Never Age and Making Life Easy: How the Divine Inside Can Heal Your Body and Your Life