Aging gracefully is a desire we all have, and it goes far beyond just looking younger. It’s about living a longer, more fulfilling life by nurturing every aspect of ourselves – our physical health by looking after our skin and maintaining a healthy diet, and our mental health by practicing meditation and vitality boosting habits. Rather than resisting the inevitable changes that come with getting older, aging gracefully is about being the best version of ourselves at every age.
Here are 4 tips for living longer and looking younger that you can practice every day!
CONSIDER EXPLORING THE MEDITERRANEAN DIET.
TAKE EXTRA MEASURES TO LOOK AFTER YOUR SKIN.
Although genetics play a role in how our skin ages over time, there are things you can do to ensure you reduce the visible signs of aging like wrinkles, sagging, sunspots, and dryness as much as possible. Wearing sunscreen whenever you go outside is a must, as well as staying as hydrated as possible throughout the day.
Silk pillowcases are also great as they don’t pull or crease your skin while you sleep, and they help your skin retain its natural moisture or any overnight creams or oils you apply before bed. If you can, try and sleep on your back as this will minimise sleep creases in your skin.
Ensure your skin is always moisturised, and try oils like olive oil, rosehip oil, almond oil, or coconut oil if you feel like your skin soaks up cream moisturiser too quickly. Always remember to include your neck and the backs of your hands, as these areas tend to show our age.
In recent years, many celebrities have exposed their various secrets to looking young on the outside and feeling young on the inside. Jennifer Lopez recently accredited her glowing, youthful skin to sunscreen, glycolic acid, no caffeine, 8 hours of sleep minimum per night, and meditation for mental peace!
Kelly Ripa accredits her youthful and energetic vibe to dancing, saying she feels like it keeps her mind and body young. Sarah Jessica Parker makes sure she never goes to bed without washing her face, and always wears moisturiser and lip balm. Susan Lucci swears by taking Pilates every morning, and eating a clean, Mediterranean diet composed mainly of superfoods.
Jennifer Aniston swears by intermittent fasting for 16 hours a day – typically breaking the fast at 10am with a celery juice, then eating a balanced diet for the rest of the day, composed mainly of healthy fats like avocado and salmon, plus healthy carbs, proteins, and vegetables. To keep her hunger at bay, energy levels up all day, and blood sugar levels steady to aid concentration and productivity, Reese Witherspoon eats several small meals throughout the day as opposed to three large ones. She also starts each day with a green smoothie containing a banana, an apple, a pear, a lemon, 2 heads of romaine lettuce, coconut water, and nut butter which helps to keep her skin clear and glowing.
Nicole Kidman accredits her figure and glowing complexion to the 80/20 rule, where she eats clean 80% of the time and indulges in the remaining 20%. This rule is great for preventing deprivation and makes it easier to stick to making most meals clean. Christina Aguilera swears by eating the rainbow, as these colourful foods are high in antioxidants that help to keep our skin looking youthful!
PRACTICE VITALITY BOOSTING HABITS.
Our mental wellbeing greatly affects how we look on the outside, so practicing vitality boosting habits that are essential in our overall happiness and quality of life will ultimately help us to age gracefully. You can do this by living in the moment, forgiving yourself and others, finding humour and laughing at yourself, staying curious, being flexible in your body and mind, meditating, and being grateful. These habits contribute to reduced stress, increased positivity, and a greater sense of fulfillment!
Social engagement is also a vitality boosting habit, and an important element of aging gracefully, as studies have shown there is a direct link between social interaction and brain health. New relationships and meaningful connections significantly improve our emotional and mental health by boosting self esteem and giving us a more positive outlook on life. When we socialise with others who share the same interests and hobbies, it cultivates a sense of belonging and purpose, which is something we need to live a healthy lifestyle. Social interaction also supports our cognitive function as it requires concentration and focus which leads to improving memory and deterring illnesses like dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. All these benefits that coincide with maintaining regular social connection ultimately assist with the healthy aging of the brain, which is also mirrored in our physical appearance.
Meditation is a powerful tool that can significantly contribute to ageing gracefully. Regular meditation practice supports a deep sense of inner calm and serenity, allowing you to cope with the inevitable changes and uncertainties that come with age. By reducing stress and anxiety, meditation promotes overall mental well-being and improves cognitive function, helping you to maintain mental sharpness and memory. It also fosters self-awareness and acceptance, enabling you to develop a positive outlook on life, embrace the present moment, and find gratitude in simple joys. Meditation enhances physical health by lowering blood pressure, improving sleep quality, and boosting the immune system. Through its holistic approach, meditation can empower you to maintain a harmonious connection between mind, body, and spirit, ultimately enabling you to age with grace, resilience, and a profound sense of inner peace.
Another important element of meditation is visualisation. A recent study conducted by Oregon State University made the compelling case for us all to be optimistic towards life when their researchers stated that if an individual believes and visualises that they’ll be happy and healthy well into old age, they’ll be much more likely to experience that outcome. They stated that if you believe it’s inevitable that one day you’ll wake up to a world of debilitating aches and pains, declining mental cognition, and an isolated lifestyle, chances are that’s what’s going to happen. However, if you envision yourself aging gracefully and staying active and content throughout your later years, you’ll likely see that version of yourself become a reality one day!
To age gracefully, we must not only take care of our appearance and physical body, but our mind also. Having a positive outlook on life and taking measures to feel as good as possible everyday leads to a new sense of purpose and fulfillment, something that is very important, especially in our retirement years when our purpose can sometimes be lost. By practicing meditation and vitality boosting habits, we can improve our mental health significantly, which will in turn positively impact how we look on the outside. We can also take care of our physical bodies and increase our longevity by simply incorporating delicious, nutrient rich foods into our diet and taking measures to look after our body’s largest organ – our skin.
While the tips covered in this article are simple and easy to implement, they are so effective. Try them today and take the next steps to aging gracefully inside and out!
You can read more about aging gracefully in the research articles below.
Perspectives of Older Adults on Aging Well: A Focus Group:
Ways to Age Gracefully: