9 Tips For Aging Gracefully And What To Avoid
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Do you know the secret to aging gracefully?
It’s not in the latest age-defying beauty treatments.
But if you’re reading this article — on this website — you probably already know that.
You don’t chase fads or worry about every wrinkle you find on your face.
You don’t fret over silver hairs or the changes in your body shape brought on by motherhood, then perimenopause, and then menopause.
But you’re still curious about what it means to age gracefully.
And you’d like to age as gracefully as you can, so you can help others do the same.
People who age well stand out among those who are constantly trying one thing or another to look younger as they continue to age on the inside.
These stand-outs have learned how to age gracefully, and many of them have seen the pain caused by focusing on the outward signs of aging.
So, they’ve generously shared their secrets to aging well.
Let’s start with what that actually means.
What does aging gracefully mean?
To age gracefully is to enjoy all the benefits that maturation brings and to avoid the pitfalls that sabotage your personal growth.
What you get out of aging depends largely on you, so why not draw as many benefits from it as you possibly can?
When you’re aware that those benefits outweigh the costs of aging, you know how to accept aging gracefully.
It’s not a matter of resigning yourself to it, either.
Those who know the blessings of aging don’t see it as a consolation prize but as something they’ve waited their whole life to enjoy.
9 Tips for Aging Gracefully
We’ve collected the following nine tips to help you master the art of aging gracefully.
1. Focus on the gains.
Instead of focusing on new aches and pains or on the fact that no one bothers asking you for your ID when you buy alcohol, focus on the good things that come with growing older.
- Wisdom gained from experience and relationships
- Fuller and more balanced use of your brain
- Clearer priorities and big-picture thinking
- Higher self-appreciation and acceptance
- More positive outlook and greater emotional stability
- Less concern over other people’s opinions
You can probably think of some more.
2. Feed your nutritional hunger.
This includes staying hydrated, and the general recommendation is to drink eight glasses of water a day. Start with a full glass when you wake up to rehydrate yourself.
The more you feed your nutritional hunger, the fewer cravings you’ll have for food that only satisfies emotional hunger. And a body that has what it needs functions better, even as it continues to grow older.
3. Get the sleep you need.
What goes into your body isn’t the only important consideration for keeping you healthy. You also need to consistently get enough sleep.
A regular sleep schedule helps with this, so make a habit of going to bed at the same time and maintaining bedtime rituals that tell your body it’s time to sleep.
4. Meditate and practice mindfulness.
Daily meditation, properly done, is even more restful than sleep.
And a habit of daily meditation helps to balance your hormones, lower your stress levels, and improve cellular communication in your body — which promotes healing.31 Mother's Day Messages To Wow Your Mom
It probably won’t erase the wrinkles or change your hair color, but it’ll make it far easier to notice and savor all the good in your life and to see the bigger picture.
5. Declutter your world.
Getting rid of the things that no longer serve you leaves you feeling lighter and less burdened by the past. It’s not just physical things that make us feel older and more encumbered.
Old mistakes and unhelpful attachments don’t have to follow you to the grave; purge your life of things, habits, and attitudes that weigh you down.
6. Focus on what you can give.
Instead of focusing on the good things you can enjoy — or that you can no longer enjoy — focus on what you can give and on the impact you can make.
Focus on what you can do to make the world better for those who live in it now and for those who will live in it after you’re gone.
Even if no one remembers your name, nothing you do out of love is ever wasted.
7. Stay active.
Make exercise an integral part of every day. Do something in the morning to get your blood pumping, and spend as little time as possible sitting down.
I don’t mean you can never curl up in a comfy chair and read a book, but let that be a reward for doing something more active — whether that’s taking a walk, doing some chores around the house, dancing, or going for a swim.
The exercise will prime your brain for a better reading experience.
8. Nurture your relationships.
The more love you put into your relationships, the more they will bless you and others.31 Ways To Be A Better Person
Invest yourself in making your relationships as strong and mutually-supportive as they can be, and you’ll find they keep you feeling younger, in spite of the gray hairs you’ve earned.
9. Expand your consciousness
Expand your awareness of who and what you are.
You are just as creative as any other human being, but you may not have learned yet how to use your creative potential.
Become more conscious of your place in the universe and your connectedness to other living beings — including those that can’t talk back.
5 Things to Avoid for Aging Gracefully
Aging gracefully isn’t just about what you should do; it’s also about avoiding those things that accelerate aging and leave you feeling used up.
1. Unnecessary Energy Drains
Decision making is harder when your energy is low, and so is being there for the people you love.
Don’t assume you have to listen to someone’s negativity day after day in order to be supportive.
At some point, you have to say, “Enough,” for both your sakes. And if that someone refuses to see the world through clearer lenses, you’re not obligated to be his or her sounding board.
2. The Productivity Hamster Wheel
With all the emphasis on getting things done, it’s easy to forget we weren’t born just to do things or to get as much done as possible before we die.
You don’t have to fill your days with productive activity.
Make time every day for some “unproductive” self-care and recreation. Make time for mindful enjoyment of each day’s gifts.
3. The Cult of Age Defiance
Don’t buy into the world’s idea that if you go gray, or your skin starts to wrinkle or sag, or you gain a bit of weight, that you’re “going downhill.”
Like a good marriage, the better wine comes when the new wine runs out.
Tell yourself the truth every day: “I am enough, just as I am. I may still be a work in progress, but I am not less than I was in my 20’s. If anything, I’m more the person I want to be than I have ever been. And the more I love, the more I am me.”
4. Habits that Accelerate Aging
Some habits age us prematurely. You can probably think of some:
- Drinking alcohol (or too much of it)
- Recreational drug use
- Eating junk food (habitually)
- A sedentary lifestyle
- Gossip and spreading rumors
- Rushing through life
- Negative thinking and worrying
It’s not enough just to tell yourself, “I won’t do any of those things anymore.”
You need to replace them with healthy habits that give you the same perceived benefit.
Find something that makes you feel the same way but that won’t ultimately work against you.
5. Refusal to Forgive
Growing old gracefully requires personal freedom, which you give up when you hold onto anger or jealousy and let it do your thinking for you.57 Of The Most Inspiring Life Is Short Quotes
Let it go to reclaim your freedom and choose to focus on your future/present reality rather than on your past. Bitterness ages you inside and out and makes you miserable. You were made for love.
6 Quotes about Aging Gracefully
“I like the woman you became better than the girl you were. I like the story you’ve written on your face.” — Joanna Bourne, The Black Hawk
“What helps with aging is serious cognition — thinking and understanding. You have to truly grasp that everybody ages. Everybody dies. There is no turning back the clock. So, the question in life becomes ‘What are you going to do while you’re here?’” — Goldie Hawn
“Nature gives you the face you have at twenty; it’s up to you to merit the face you have at fifty.” — Coco Chanel
“Those who think they have no time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness.” — Edward Stanley
“The wiser mind mourns less for what age takes away than what it leaves behind.” — William Wordsworth
“Aging is not lost youth but a new stage of opportunity and strength.” — Betty Friedan
Yes, you can age gracefully.
Now that you know how to age gracefully, what will you do today that you haven’t done before — or not for a while?
What will you say to yourself the next time you look in the mirror?[bctt tweet=”Aging Gracefully (9 surprising secrets to be your best self at any age).”]
What do you see in yourself now that you didn’t see before you read this article?
I hope you’ll make the nine tips in this article part of your everyday normal. The more you put them into practice, the more others are likely to notice their effects.
Who knows how many lives you could improve just by applying the secrets to aging gracefully.
The more grace you bring to daily life, the more others will see and want it for themselves.
And then you can pass it on.
So, may your ageless beauty, creativity, and compassion influence everything you do today.