We all get older— it’s a fact of life if you’re lucky enough to experience it. Very few people realize that we possess the power to control how we grow and change, both physically and mentally, and that the things we do now will affect our quality of life in the future.
Mindful aging means learning how to give your body what it needs as it’s going through the aging process, both in a physical and metaphorical sense. While it may seem like getting ready for your senior years is something only older people need to think about, it’s never too early to start developing habits that will help you get ready for the years to come.
It takes practice to acquire the skill-set of aging mindfully. This article will give you some insight into what you can do now, no matter your age, to set yourself up for a happy life as a senior.
Learn Your Body’s Signals
The first step to mindful aging is becoming in tune with your body and learning what is and isn’t normal for you. Once you’ve established what your baseline is, both in a physical and mental sense, you’ll have a heightened awareness of when something is wrong with you.
A great way to get in the habit of this is through meditation. Meditation will allow you to learn to take control of your thoughts and concentrate on being present. The benefits of meditation are endless— such as increasing gray matter and making you more resistant to pain— and there are many different kinds for you to choose from, meaning that there are many different ways for you to harness the power of your brain.
Yoga offers similar benefits if you’re having trouble with meditation. The practice of yoga teaches you to be aware of the alignment of your physical self while connecting your outward self with your internal self. It’s also a great way to keep your body active and to relieve some of the unknown stress you might be carrying around.
Both meditation and yoga give you the ability to prepare for the changes that come with aging, while allowing you to reflect on your body and your mind in its present state. As you become more connected with who you are and how you feel, you’ll be able to take care of yourself in a more thorough way.
Take Care Of Your Health
Once you are able to identify what it is your body needs, you should respond to it appropriately. Make an effort to sleep when your body tells you it’s tired, eat when it tells you it’s hungry, and drink when it tells you it’s thirsty. You’ll find that simply reacting to your body’s prompts can help you age gracefully.
It’s also a good practice to prevent some of the negative effects of aging before they happen. Some of the diseases we frequently associate with age, like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, strokes, and certain cancers, can be prevented by nourishing your body with a proper diet, consistent physical exercise, and resting properly.
A well-balanced diet has the ability to improve your entire health, and the earlier you start, the better shape you’ll be in during your elderly years. Enrolling in an interactive weight loss program, like WW, can help you form healthier eating habits that will lead to a long and happy life. Pairing this diet with a stable fitness routine will add years to your life, and will make you feel younger than you actually are.
You’ll also want to make sure that you’re giving your body the proper amount of rest it requires. Your body uses the time you’re asleep to repair damaged cells, strengthen the memories you’ve collected during the day, and other housekeeping tasks that it can’t do when you’re awake. This is why it’s so important to get the proper amount of rest. If it seems to take you a while to fall asleep, there are plenty of tips online that can help you fall asleep faster.
It’s easy to enjoy your life when your health is in tip-top shape, so make sure that you’re putting yourself in a position to be the healthiest version of yourself as possible.
It has been scientifically proven that laughter is good for your health. It’s known to improve your immune system, reduce anxiety and depression, and is good exercise for your cardiovascular and respiratory systems— all of which will be good for you in your old age.
The key to laughing often is to try and keep a positive mindset. Positive thinking has the power to not only completely change your outlook on life, but it can also improve every aspect of your day-to-day. You have to prevent yourself from thinking so negatively and learn to replace those thoughts with positive ones.
When you learn to harness your mental power, anything is possible— even improving your quality of life 20 years from now. The life you live today has everything to do with the choices you made yesterday, so make good choices that are going to set you up for a happy tomorrow.