Be Ageless

Can one really be ageless? From the day you are born your chronological age begins counting. The human chronological age is a good indicator of growth – physical and otherwise. It is also a good marker of time. So, when people talk about being ageless, what does it mean? How?

“Forever young.” Long before those words were employed as a striking lyrics, that thought has existed in the minds of many a person. 

  • How often aren’t we asked how old we are?  
  • And aren’t we constantly figuring the age of people as we see them.  

We all desire to have a body and a mind that isn’t limited by age, one to which a number cannot easily be attached by observers. Let’s consider two primary ways we can prove ourselves ageless despite the passing of time.

Be Ageless
Ageless Skin

Ageless Appearance – Young in Body

As I interview people in their 90’s and 100’s, I’m often struck by how much younger they look than they ‘should’ for their age.  Many of these people who are living long and strong, look 20-30 years younger than their chronological age.  They have fewer wrinkles and they have good  skin tone.  I believe their youthful looking bodies have a lot to do with where their mind resides.  Why do I say that? 

Harvard's Dr. Ellen Langer did an experiment in 1979 where men around the age of 80 were taken to a place that had been retrofitted as if it was in the 1950’s.  There were no mirrors anywhere.  And after only 1 week of acting as if they were 20-years younger and not seeing themselves in a mirror, not only did their biological markers reverse in age, but they were rated as looking younger AFTER this week by independent raters who compared photographs of them taken before and after. 

So yes, there may be some who are blessed with a predisposition to what some might call “good genes” - those people who apparently need to do little to do in order to maintain that youthful appearance. But as the above experiment shows our minds can have a lot to do with how aged or ageless we are in appearance?  So, it’s not only about expensive potions and creams that loudly proclaim they’re the answer to ‘that fountain of youth’ yet attain, at best, dubious results.

  • Keep your body young. Whether you chose to do yoga, or you prefer light aerobic exercises (like walking. swimming or jogging), moving your body, keeping your spine and neck flexible and balance are important for the youthfulness of your body both internally and externally.  There is nothing like keeping your muscles toned through regular exercise to look and feel younger.  And walk with your spine upright, your shoulders back, a spring in your step and a gleam in your eye.  Just doing these small things will immediately make you feel younger and more vital.
  • Keep your mind young. Focus on getting your brainwaves to delta  waves - sleep does this and so does meditation.  Delta brainwaves provide our body time and space to reset and revitalize. It keeps your mind alert and allows the body and skin to heal and repair itself. 
  • Reduce stress, the wrinkles from stress - from knitting your brow and frowning- look nothing like the laughter lines you get from laughing easily and often. 

Ageless Attitude – Young in Spirit

Plan to have a ‘youth day’ at least once a week.  Think of these as days when you temporarily put down your responsibilities and pressures and plan to  are pursue fun and pleasure. How does this help? 

According to Dr. Mario Martinez, we have cultural portals…

  • a youth portal when you’re expected to be a bit foolish and carefree; 
  • a middle age portal when society expects you to be more responsible and more weighed down by the pressures of family, work etc…; 
  • old age portal when the common societal messages are all about the fragility of ‘old age’ and how everything is in a state of decay.  

But these portals only exist for you if you allow them to by buying into them!

An ageless attitude recognizes that happiness and pleasure are invaluable if the mind is to remain young. This means that things that make you feel good, that fill you with joy aren’t a luxury, they’re essential if you are to remain young in spirit. Thus, returning to the youth portal where you can feel a bit foolish, carefree and adventuresome should forever remain a priority.

When I was interviewing 93-year old Ruth she told me that for her 88th birthday she’d gone river rafting, for her 90th she’d gone zip-lining…she wasn’t going to stay in her ‘old age’ portal.  No siree!  

  • An ageless attitude also means flexibility. Being a rigid “know it all” will leave you playing catch up while the train of life moves forward. Don’t let your societal portal stop you from doing things you ‘shouldn’t at your age.’  What a bunch of baloney. Know what you love and do it.
  • As you move along in life, and new things arrive; adopt some, adapt some, drop some, and have some fun doing your adapting, adopting and dropping.
  • Are you a lover of adventure? When last did you embark on one? How often does our culture imply you’re too old to do that? 

Thumb your nose at what they tell you, step back into the youth portal and your biology will change to mirror that.  How do we know that?  So what if your hair is grey? So what if your skin is wrinkling?  Remember that an ageless attitude is about remaining joyful. Seek out what keeps you joyful and do it.

Worrying so much about your chronological age will only add more years to your appearance and besides, what really counts when it comes to ageless living is not so much your chronological age but your wisdom age!  Next time someone asks how old you are, don’t give them your age in years after all that only means they’ll judge you as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ for you age.  Rather, throw your head back, laugh out loud and say….My wisdom age is 350+ (or whatever figure sounds good to you).  

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