“Aging gracefully” means something different to everyone. Some define it as remaining youthful in appearance, while to others it means being free from lapses of memory. At Ageology, we believe that maturity is a wonderful part of the human experience, so here are three lifestyle practices that will help you age gracefully—in body, mind and spirit.
Body – Protect Your Skin
Unless you’re one of the lucky few with age-defying genes, wrinkles are an inevitable part of aging. However, there are a few things you can do to keep your skin looking great—even if you haven’t cared for it well in the past.
On the Inside:
Along with staying hydrated, taking omega-3 fatty acids from fish and flax will support the integrity of skin cell membranes, helping them to hold more water for a softer, more youthful (less wrinkled) appearance. Vitamin C also supports collagen, the elastic part of your skin that naturally declines with age. Getting more vitamin C is as easy as adding (unsweetened) lemon or cranberry juice to your water!
On the Outside:
While sunscreen is still a topic of hot debate, protecting delicate facial skin from harmful UV rays is absolutely essential if you want to age gracefully. There are many fantastic synthetic-free sunscreen products on the market nowadays—all of which can be found at the health food store, reasonably priced. If you are extremely sensitive to sunscreen products, pick up a fabulous sun hat or a pretty parasol to carry. No matter which method of sun protection you prefer, it helps to keep a backup in your car, so that you’re always prepared for fun in the sun!
Mind – Laugh Often
“Forget health food, I’m at the age where I need all the preservatives I can get!”
Did you laugh? We hope so! A good chuckle can add not only to your quality of life, but also to your quantity of days. Research suggests that laughter, in addition to spending quality time within healthy social groups, improves resiliency in stressful situations in addition to improving overall health and memory. Embrace those laugh lines, because the old saying is true: Laughter really is one of the best medicines that exists!
Spirit – Practice GratitudeTaking the time to pause and acknowledge the “good” in life is a powerful key to long-lasting happiness—and loads of research proves it! Researchers have found that people who express the most gratitude in their daily lives are less anxious, less depressed, sleep better, are more energetic and overall healthier, with stronger immune systems that do a better job of fighting disease.
When you feel “stuck” in sadness or anger: Pause, take a deep breath and think of one or two things that you are grateful for. Don’t judge yourself or question it—just FEEL the emotion that comes with your gratitude and focus on it for at least 30 seconds. Write it down as well, if you are in a good place to do so.
Create a gratitude log or journal: It doesn’t need to be fancy or even cost money. Write on the back of napkins, papers that you want to recycle, old notebooks—whatever! If you want to make it pretty, do it. If you can’t afford a new journal, don’t worry about it. Just write… at bedtime, when you wake in the morning, or both. Write at least 5 things that you are grateful for—every day—and your life will begin to change!