"Opinion" Natural ways to slow aging

Jennifer Bonn

Jen Bonn

Wouldn’t it be perfect if we could have the wisdom that comes with getting older but not have the physical aspect of aging? Many of us have spent a great deal of money trying to maintain a youthful appearance. We want the answer to be inside of a bottle or jar, but the truth is that the answer to feeling and looking younger is within our reach naturally and inexpensively. Here are some of the things that we can do to slow the aging process.

1. Sleep

I have noticed that as I have gotten older, my face shows how much or how little sleep I have had. If I have several days of great sleep, I look ten years younger. Lack of sleep is also a major factor in memory loss and symptoms of depression that include low interest in daily activities and negative thinking. Research has shown that most adults need 8-9 hours of sleep every night. Not getting enough sleep affects the skin barrier’s ability to do its job and can lead to dehydration, which, in turn, makes fine lines more noticeable.

1) Staying Calm

Stress really will kill you. It disrupts your sleep, raises your weight, elevates your blood pressure, and will age you rapidly. There are ways to keep your cool though. Deep breathing is something that everyone can do anywhere. Breathe deeply for four seconds, hold it in for four seconds and then release it for four. Do this three times and see how much more relaxed you are.

Another technique that anyone can use is repeating a mantra. A mantra is a word or phrase that helps you to focus or relax. The one I use is “Find the joy.” I use it when I start to become irritated or stressed. It reminds me that there is joy in any situation.

Meditation is another way to improve your sense of calm. Sit in a quiet place, close your eyes and focus on a scene that would be special for you. Clear your mind, breathe deeply and focus on your special place. Find a quiet and comfortable place. Sit in a chair or on the floor with your head, neck, and back straight but not stiff. Pay attention to your breathing. Breathe deeply in and out. Clear your mind and imagine a pleasant scene with you in it. Try to relax and focus on nothing but that.

2) Exercise

The U.S. guidelines recommend that 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity at least five days a week can have significant health benefits. In one study it was found that adults who partake in regular physical activity are biologically younger than sedentary individuals. The secret to exercise working for you is to find something that you enjoy doing so that you will do it consistently. Visualize the positive effects that exercise can have on you.

3) Water

Water can solve many health problems. Hydration is essential to help prevent the clogging of arteries to the heart and brain. Hydration is needed for the production of nature's sleep regulator, melatonin. Water generates electrical and magnetic energy in every cell in the body, providing a natural power boost. Water normalizes the blood-manufacturing system that can aid in the prevention of many forms of cancer. To promote healthier skin, adequate water intake is essential. If water does not reach the skin from the circulation at its base, the rate of skin repair will decrease, and dehydrated cells will cover the body. Drink up!!

4) Interaction with friends

Humans have a basic need for interaction with others. Add onto that the chance to interact with someone who cares about your happiness and is willing to listen to your joys and your sorrows and you have a prescription for happiness. We need people in our lives to share our thoughts and feelings with and who can make us feel needed. Happiness usually equals healthiness and healthy relationships can make that happen.

5) Engage in a passion/interest

Find something that you love to do and do it as often as possible. Doing something that we are passionate about is a stress reliever and we all know that stress is a major cause of aging. What a simple concept it is to think that by doing something that makes you happy and relaxes you, you can stay younger longer.

6) Give back

Serving others will make you feel good, it will help you connect with the community, and it will show you just how blessed you are in your life. The quickest way to forget about any troubles that you have is to help relieve someone else’s burden. Worry will age you so avoid it when possible.

7) Think positively

Attitude is everything. The outcome of anything that you do will be affected by the attitude you give it. People with positive attitudes live longer than those with negative views on everything. Try going through a day changing any negative thought into a positive and see if it makes a difference.

8) Take time to do nothing

Many of us have no idea how to relax. We feel guilty doing nothing but the truth is it could be a great thing to do for our health and to use as an anti-aging tool. There is always one more thing that you could do at work or around the house, but our bodies need some rest so try putting up your feet now and then and take some time to renew.

9) Learn something new

Learning to do something new can stimulate our brains and keep our mental capacity sharp. We all want to be as sharp mentally as we can, so learn to play an instrument, try a new sport or learn another language.

It is important to realize that age is just a number. We do not have to succumb to age, we can deal with it on our own terms. I hear people complaining that they are falling apart at forty. Middle age can be a time of renewal and recognition. You have wisdom that you did not have in your twenties and your body can be well maintained with a little work.

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I am passionate about running, parenting, education, and self-help information. I enjoy writing articles that will offer readers the information needed to help them in some way. I recently retired from teaching French and Spanish for forty years. I run every day and have done all kinds of races from 5ks to ultra-marathons. I have three children and three grandchildren. I write for several magazines in my area, I am a contributor and in charge of the Pinterest board for a parenting magazine called Screamin Mamas, and I have a second book about to be released through Loving, Healing Press called 101 Tips to Ease Your Burdens.

Kennesaw, GA

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