17 Jan How To Turn Age On Its Head.
An Attitude workout
If what we desire is a new experience around the more mature years of life, then the place to start is with the way we perceive the journey.
We cannot expect to have a healthy, vibrant, fulfilling future if we do not believe it is possible and we are caught up in perpetual thoughts about the tragedies of each year that passes.
So before we even begin to worry about what our body is doing, we need to get on down to the mind gym and give ourselves a good attitude workout. Here’s how:
Step One: Recycle your beliefs
Take a good, honest look at the thoughts you have accumulated around age and what pops into your brain every time you brave the mirror, meet younger ladies in the restroom or are constrained to climb the stairs.
Are you thinking…?
I’m over forty, flab is fashion. Does my health insurance cover bending to tie my shoes laces? I can’t wear that, I’ll look like a Christmas tree in drag. Any more wrinkles and I’ll be mistaken for a walnut.
Do you think you are a GORGEOUS ageless goddess who can be fit, healthy and wildly adventurous all the way past 90?
Our thoughts shape our experience.
Your body is not separate from your thoughts. She is obediently paying attention to all that you say and do. If you are constantly feeding her toxic gossip, she will believe you and respond obligingly. You’ll end up looking and feeling like a sag bag and the only thing you’ll be able to bend is the milk carton.
Every time you catch yourself thinking that the attributes of age come in a package which includes everything from excess weight to Alzheimer’s, have a little pep talk with your mind. Instead of focusing on how old you are, revel in how young you are!
Even just thinking and acting more youthfully can improve our health and how we look and feel.
Studies on placebos suggest that the mere belief we will feel differently actually leads us to feel differently. Placebos don’t just change how we feel, they can actually change our biochemistry.
Have placebo-ageless thoughts and do placebo-ageless things.
Allow your thoughts and your actions to nurture your body and brain and program your cells to embody ageless, healthy growth instead of decline and decay.
Step Two: Crush the cultural stereotypes
The world is awash with mean messages designed to keep us in our “old and crumpled” place and entice us to compensate by consuming miracle (read toxic) remedies and go against the grain of nature. Don’t allow your mind to be conditioned by these age-impoverishing vampires sneakily looking to feed on your aliments and inadequacies and sabotage your health, while making an indecent ton load of money in the process.
These stereotypes hurt not only your peace but your pocket, too.
Believe it or not, they can take both a physical and psychological toll on your health. Hold up the garlic. Don’t allow them in. They are false and they only serve to keep you small and tripping to the chemist.
Focus on what YOU want to be, do, feel and have, not on what someone’s advertising campaign suggests you should be, do, feel and have.
Limiting what we do, how we behave, how we dress and the activities we choose, to satisfy ideas that come from outside, only reinforces our negative beliefs and our decline.
I am not suggesting you throw all decorum to the dogs, but I am suggesting you focus wholly and heartily on what you really want and then act accordingly.
Don’t forget that past societies and many non-Western cultures respect and revere the more mature generations. And for good reason. The experience you have gained in life so far is a valuable source of wisdom for the collective whole. Growing older can be an opportunity to increase your value and competence, not leave it to dwindle in all departments.
So own your worth! There are rich times for growth and fulfilment ahead.
Are you getting excited?
Good. Then you are on your way.
Ageless energy will not flow out of your smart phone as you sit on the couch nibbling microwave popcorn and texting your friends. It will come when you decide it is what you want and you start to believe it is what you can have.
And that will happen when you set the intention and do the work.
Step Three: Question your habits.
Take stock. How might your habits be related to how you feel?
Does it surprise you that after 3 glasses of wine you feel like cow manure the next morning? Do you wonder why you don’t feel slim and sexy in your new jeans while wishing you’d left some chocolate pudding for tomorrow’s lunch (or not had any in the first place)? Are you a regular sunlamp worshipper but query your rhino-textured skin?
Time to get real.
Do not be tempted to excuse physical discomforts, lax behaviours and signs of neglect by attributing them to your age. Question your aches and pains. Question your energy levels. Question your fitness. Question your level of fulfillment.
Are you reinforcing your beliefs through your behaviours and reinforcing your behaviours by your beliefs?
Have you recently overdosed on inflammatory foods? Does your weekly workout consist of lifting shopping bags onto the kitchen table? Are you succumbing to the three o’clock slump because you absolutely had to reach level 3,968 on Candy Crush before you could go to bed last night and then you skipped breakfast because you slept in?
Know your habits and see if there is any correlation between the way you behave and the way you feel. My guess is there might be.
And then realise that you can change both. Yes BOTH.
Step Four: Create a community and be a role model.
“A healthy attitude is contagious.
But don’t wait to catch it from others. Be a carrier.”
Once you know you can be ageless, spread the word.
When you have turned your beliefs on their head, defied the status quo and assessed your habits, create a healthy community to support you. Rally your friends, family and colleagues and surround yourself with allies.
And ban those whingeing girlfriends. Anyone nagging about their saggy bits and deflated stuff must either be converted or castoff. There is no room for naysayers’ negativity in your newly acquired corner.
But beware of becoming the age police. Let everyone marvel at your new found radiance, vitality and gorgeousness, and your tribe will be easy recruits, eager to get a share of the action once they witness the changes in you, without you needing to shove your non-toxic mascara down their throats.
One last piece of advice
While I am a strong advocate for taking action and making change, please do it with calm and care.
You are creating a healthy new attitude not going into battle.
Stressing out to make changes will set off your sympathetic nervous system, sending cortisol and adrenaline into the arena. No matter how noble your intentions, this response will have the opposite effect to the one you desire. Over time stress hormones cause inflammation and predispose the body to disease and premature ageing. And that is something you definitely want to avoid. Right?
Keep calm and be demure.
Give your natural endorphins a reason to get high by telling them how young and healthy you feel, and they will not only help ameliorate symptoms, relieve pain and lift your mood,
They will make you ageless!