Supergirls hold the power – age is just a number
What if I told you that by simply changing the way you think and changing your daily activities you can look and feel younger?
Imagine that, you could ditch the anti-aging creams, quit the botox by taking some simple steps! Now that is a superpower and one a supergirl lives and dies by! She knows how to look her best and recognizes that it all lies in her hands – the power lies within.
Fancy practicing some mindful health? A term coined by Harvard University psychologist Ellen Langer, who has for decades talked about the link between mind and body, and the ability to change the way we think and our environment and how it has a deep impact on the physiology of us.
Langer carried out an experiment to prove her thought in 1978. She recreated a scene from 1959 where she placed a selection of 8, 70-year-old men for a week. The wallpaper, television, media, activities they participated in, the clothes they wore, food that they consumed was from 20 years earlier. They carried out a physical assessment prior to entering the space so that had a clear idea of the symptoms, ailments, agility, and mindset of the individual. They were then instructed to not just exist in the environment but to act like they were 20 years younger.
So, did it work?
Yes yes yes! They sure did… and the results were astounding. Within a week the elderly men seemed to grow younger – mentally and physically! Woohoo that is quite something, isn’t it!
So, when you believe that something will affect you in a particular way, it often does. That’s why placebo controls are baked into every rigorous clinical trial.
Langer wrote and concluded she wrote in 1981 – “many of the consequences of old age may be environmentally determined and thereby potentially reversed through manipulations of the environment.”
So, with that in mind, how can we employ a similar set up to take our mind and body back, so we can essentially reverse the signs of aging. All this without pills or potions!
Did you know, new skin is made every month and a new liver is made every six weeks the cells within our bodies are always new; the raw material of our DNA changes every six weeks; our blood renews itself every month and we all make a completely new skeleton every ten years. 98% of the atoms in our bodies were not even there a year ago. Most of our cells have the ability to renew themselves, meaning that we are constantly making a whole new body; and no matter your age, much of that body is just ten years old or less. If you live to the age of 95, the only three main areas of cells that have lasted that amount of time are in the brain, the heart muscles, and the cells in your eyes. The majority of other cells in our body have the ability to renew themselves.
So, with that knowledge, we can change the myths and beliefs. To add to that the human nervous system is the only nervous system that is aware of aging. Animals have no such awareness and can’t do anything to slow down aging. But we can.
We have three ages and three different ways to measure our age – Our chronological age, your age in terms of years since your birth; biological age, which can be indicated by various tests for example flexibility or memory; and your psychological age; or how old we feel.
How often have you heard parents, family members say that inside their head, they still feel 20 or 30? My mother is 81 and still feels 40 in her head! Or on the other hand, you have heard a member of your family talk about ‘when you get older, you’ll ache all over and need glasses.’ You see you inherit so many beliefs about age and its consequences from the people around you that end up being your thoughts and make you think you should feel old when you could feel like a spring chicken despite your age!
Our family, friends, colleagues all play a role. The media too plays a massive role in shaping our beliefs. Ditch the magazines that are brain-washing you into thinking you have to look a certain way. F*ck the botox! Damn those fillers. Times up darling, you can change the way you look when you change the way you think.
Tip number one: Put down the magazines that brainwash you to chase an unattainable body, look, and way of life. The good news is, that by letting go of outdated beliefs about aging, we can lower our biological and physiological age. And let our biological bodies reflect how we young we feel in our head. Now that’s exciting!! We are no longer a victim of the aging process!
Now get a piece of paper because first, we must ask ourselves questions about our beliefs relating to aging: What are my beliefs about aging? Where did those beliefs come from? Who put them there? Why am I choosing to believe this? Now you have mastered that simple exercise, take that piece of paper and rip it up! Once we have the awareness of our limiting thoughts we can make a conscious choice to disassociate from them.
Tip two – Change your focus. Focus on people that have aged well and use them as a muse. Life doesn’t end at 50 or when you retire. It’s how you look at it. And if you are searching for some inspiration here is some;
· Hulda Crooks began climbing mountains when she was 70!! She went on to make history 25 years later when she became the oldest woman to climb Mount Fuji.
· Fauja Singh took up running for the first time at the age of 80, and at the age of 100 has run several marathons.
· Women such as Katherine Hepburn, Martha Graham, Eileen Fowler and Freya Stark who was still a writer and explorer at the age of 96 are all classic examples of how well we can age.
Make those women your inspiration as of today. This isn’t genes, it’s mindset! It’s time to stop using other people’s limitations about age to define you!
Here are 8 more tips on how to stay young and live long…
Notice the way you are talking to yourself and change it. Stop the ‘ugh I feel so old!’ and starting using words like ‘I feel so alive!’ ‘I’m youthful, strong and vibrant’. Remember age is just a number, you are only as young as your internal talk. Your body matches your thoughts so choose wisely.
Tip 3: Make time for fun! Let go, be loud – just like you did as a kid.
Tip 4: Take up an activity that you loved when you were young; such as dancing, singing, drawing – whatever makes your heart sing.
Tip 5: Keep things simple. Adults tend to overcomplicate life and take life too seriously. Enjoy and stay in the present.
Tip 6: Notice how your family members talk about age. You aren’t their thoughts.
Tip 7: Dress for fun. Your clothes reflect your mindset. Choose colour to match your inner vitality.
Tip 8: Surround yourself with people who keep you young.
Tip 9: Laugh! It’s the greatest medicine there is!
And the last tip: It’s all about design a life that matches your youthful frame of mind and your body will respond. You are not your age! Oh and next time someone asks you age tell them you are — years young! (Insert your age).
Written by me, a mum of two, 40 years young, 21 at heart.