How can we slow down the aging process?
The first formal studies on successful aging—the physical, mental and social well-being in older age, appear to be those of Muhammad ibn Yusuf al-Harawi in1582. His book discusses behavioral and lifestyle factors, including diet and environment, influencing aging.
Neurological research has demonstrated that brain growth and development continue into old age—the concept known as neuroplasticity of aging. It shows that even late in life, potential exists for physical, mental, and social growth and development.There are a growing number of older adults functioning at a high level and contributing to society.
On the other hand, some of my senior clients believe their pain is a natural result of old age, and their conditioned identification with the pain, I think, keeps them believing they have to live with it, and they can’t anticipate aging successfully.
According to most current research, successful aging consists of three components: Low probability of disease or disability, high cognitive and physical function capacity, and active engagement with life. What works best for me to enjoy life and to feel younger than my actual age, is maintaining a healthy weight (physical), having a positive attitude (mental), and not taking myself too seriously (spiritual).
Activities should be tailored to our own capabilities and interests, and the following are only a few possibilities for successful aging
Physical: Being physically active is important and includes: exercising regularly, stretching, walking, running, biking, hiking, dancing, swimming, yoga, tai-chi, yard work, a healthy diet, receiving consistent therapeutic massage & bodywork, and seeking professional help for medical conditions.
Mental: Keeping a positive attitude. Exercising the brain with crossword puzzles, scrabble, taking a class, learning a new skill—a foreign language, yoga, learning how to tap dance, meeting and developing friendships with younger people, being active and participating in life, getting professional help for depression, and mentoring a younger person.
Spiritual: Let’s take the load of the world off our shoulders and stop thinking we need to know everything and solve all our problems and everybody else’s. We can stop thinking of ourselves most of the time and spend some time seeking and giving social support to others through volunteering, practice taking the time to be still, enjoying being present. We can also stop taking ourselves so seriously and taking everything personally, quit making assumptions, and keep expectations reasonable.
These are only a few actions we can take to slow down the aging process and enjoy life more while doing it, but action is the key word. We need to take the action.