Do you feel you’re getting older too quickly — that the tug of years is weighing you down? If only you could slow down ageing, feel a bit younger. Maybe even look a bit younger.
It’s not that you really want to be younger. You know perfectly well that you can’t turn back the clock. You’d just like to keep looking good, keep your brain in good working order as well as staying active and happy.
Yeh yeh, we all know about diet and exercise.
But all those diet articles have bored you to death and the treadmill doesn’t have its reputation for nothing.
Well, diet and exercise aren’t the only way to slow down ageing. Other solutions are so little known, they’re almost still secrets. But they’re backed up by science.
They can give you a big boost, make you feel younger right now, and sustain you into an active and happy old age.
Ok — you’re in. Let’s take a look at 7 secrets to slow down your ageing.
1. Laugh and Smile and You’ll be Smiling at the World a Lot Longer.
A really good laugh releases stress, lowers your blood pressure and stimulates your immune system. So giggle at a rerun of “Friends” or catch some live comedy.
Yesterday, I smiled at two old guys and we dallied a while for a happy chat. Afterwards, the rush of feel-good hormones meant I was walking on sunshine.
Smile and the whole world smiles with you.
2. Friends aren’t just a Funny Sitcom: They Slow Down Ageing
Loneliness depresses both you and your immune system — it’s a killer. Lack of friends gives you a whopping 50% chance of dying early.
Grab the antidote pronto: it’s
Search out more bricks to build support for your
Try your local Meet-up. (My local Meet-up group ran that free comedy show pictured above.)
3. Worried to death? Bat life’s curved balls away with me-time.
We know about medical check-ups, but proactive self-care reduces stress, improves your immune system, your health and longevity. Grapple back control of your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual needs.
Say no to overload and yes to your self-care. Choose what you need: yoga, mindfulness, a massage, time alone, a day off. Whatever — it’s me-time. Time to shed your worries.
Recharge your batteries and you’ll find the strength and resilience to bat those curveballs out of the park.
4. Positive Thinking has Real Power to Add Years to Your Life
A positive attitude slows down ageing. Older people who regard ageing positively live an average of 7.5 years longer.
Optimism relieves stress, improves immunity and lowers risks of heart disease. Try noting your joyful moments in a daily gratitude diary. Talk positively, even if only to your mirror. (Say, ‘YES I CAN’.)
Build a habit of turning your blackest thoughts into shiny bright. I indulge in brainstorming small positive steps (starting with a cup of tea).
5. Life Purpose: Your Passion keeps you Feeling Young
Beyond your own happiness, look for a sense of purpose that gives your life meaning and a sense of direction. What compels you to bounce out of bed each morning?
Choose what triggers your passion for helping others. I volunteer in a food bank and do 2 minute beach cleans. You might want to save donkeys, help the neighbours or go on a climate change demonstration.
Find something you believe in so passionately that you fling yourself into action (like
Even better if it helps others. You’ll feel younger and live longer.
6. Turn on your Longevity Genes to Slow Down Ageing
Epigenetics, the science of switching some genes on and off, says your lifestyle can cause a cascade of beneficial genetic effects. How cool is that!
Our genes determine our structure, but we can decorate the building in ways which affect our longevity. It’s like marriage — for better or worse.
To get epigenetics working for you, try stacking a regular 8 hours of zzzzzzs, travel, do some loving, get a pet, go to live music gigs. Be happy, have fun.
7. Vanity may Extend your Life (and it Definitely Makes You Look Younger)
It’s easy to scoff at people who spend time grooming. But caring for your appearance makes you feel great, look younger and live longer.
Nice white teeth and shiny hair give you confidence just like a new outfit does. ‘Enclothed cognition’ theory says clothes change your behaviour and performance. Gym clothes make you exercise, smart clothing demands respect. The right jersey scores more goals.
People treat you differently too: positive attention means younger looks. Clothes (and hygiene!) maketh the man live longer!
Slow Down Your Ageing and (Secretly) Watch Yourself Blossom
When you look around at older people you know, ageing can seem scary.
But not for you.
Because you’re doing something to slow down your ageing, checking out best practice with the latest science.
Imagine how you’ll feel when you’re 60, 70, 80 or more.
Life is brighter than ever. You’re taking pleasure in little things. (Isn’t it great that wrinkles don’t hurt?)
You don’t dwell on your worries.
You grin when people exclaim, ‘You look so much younger than your age’. Maybe you’ll tell the secrets. Or maybe you won’t.
Of course, there are no guarantees in life. For some, the journey will be hard whatever they do. And you will have your share of ups and downs.
But you’ll no longer feel your years weighing you down like a millstone around your neck.
So take one small step today, another tomorrow and every day. Feel yourself blossoming into a work of art.
Yes, you can slow down your ageing. You can feel younger — and you’ll look younger too.
Related article: When Life’s Not Fair: Getting out from Under When you feel Crushed