A man lovingly holds a woman, showcasing tenderness in graceful aging.

Unlocking Graceful Aging: 15 Essential Tips for Embracing the Aging Process

Ever wonder how some individuals live to be 100 years old with glee and grace? Good genes, we are sure, play a part, but a sense of purpose and an optimistic spirit may be what matters most. A literature review belonging to Applied Psychology confirmed a compelling association between positivity and longevity and overall health and wellness.

You can’t stand in line at the grocery checkout without noticing at least one magazine article about “How to Age Gracefully and Look Younger” While we all seem to dread sagging and a few wrinkles here and there, there’s much more to aging elegantly.

Aging gracefully isn’t about looking like you are in your twenties – it is about being authentically you, living your best life, and having the mental and physical health to enjoy it. Like a bottle of fine wine, with the right care, you can get better with age.

Integrative medicine focuses on the whole body – the connection between the mind and body. “Wellness is not just about physical health, but your attitudes, relationships, work, and your creative expression,” says Dr. Marilyn Field, Health and Wellness blogger for Senior Healthcare Advisors.

aging process

Your mental state, particularly, your sense of life’s purpose, affects your life as a whole. A study in Psychological Science (2014) indicated that setting goals and taking action toward its success amounted to healthier choices in life and ultimately a longer life. A good number of participants over the age of 90 reported having a hobby, positive associations, and actively learning new things.

Here are some vitality-boosting tips on how to age elegantly:

#1. Live in the moment

No one can predict the future, so make the most out of each moment. Learn how to be mindful. Mindful living means being present and how to nurture your awareness daily. Do not take a single second for granted.

#2. Forgive Yourself and Others

Forgiving someone doesn’t mean you excuse what has happened; it means you let go of the issues and release the toxic hold on your body and mind. If you struggle to let go, see a counselor or spiritual advisor for support.

#3. Take care of your skin

The largest organ in your body is your skin. If you treat it with kindness and care, it will regulate your body temperature, protect your body from the elements, and offer you sensation.

To keep it looking and functioning at its best:

  • Get yearly screenings for skin cancer
  • Use anti-wrinkle and gentle skin-care products
  • Wear protective clothing and wear sunscreen when in the sun
  • Stay hydrated.

#4. Exercise

Exercising regularly significantly lowers your risk of illnesses and diseases, such as cancer and heart disease. It also helps you to maintain your mobility longer. Exercising also improves sleep, lowers stress, and positively affects your mood, bones, and skin.

The Department of Health & Human Services recommends that adults do:

  • 2.5 to 5 hours per week of moderate-intensity exercise,
  • 1.25 to 2.5 hours per week of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise, or a combination of the two
  • muscle-strengthening activities of moderate intensity or greater, that involve all major muscle groups, two or more days per week

Some examples of aerobic exercises include:

  • Walking
  • Swimming
  • Dancing
  • Cycling

#5. Keep a good sense of humor and remember to laugh at yourself

Enjoy a good laugh, read funny books, and watch humorous movies. Even when life hands you some turmoil, relax and try not to take it too seriously. Watch funny movies, read humorous essays, and enjoy jokes.

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#6. Be Grateful

Keep a gratitude list. Write down 5 things you are grateful for each day. Look for ways to cultivate gratitude, such as taking a walk among nature or spending time with loved ones.

#7. Learn new things

Practice lifelong learning. Actively engage with younger people. As we age, learning new things still makes our world bigger. Learning is beneficial for any age group.

#8. Keep your Mind and Body Flexible

Try participating in a yoga class, as it can help both mind and body. Not only does yoga make you more flexible, but the mindful movements and intentions incorporated into the practice can also improve your mental focus and outlook on life.

#9. Meditate

Meditation comes in many forms, including journaling, prayer, quilting, gardening, fishing, yoga, mantras, and many others. Meditating can be your approach to calmness. Some people listen to relaxing music, some walk on the beach, and some even meditate in bed! Find what meditation style works best for you.

#10. Maintain a Healthy Diet

When it comes to aging with grace, “you are what you eat” applies. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends the following nutrition guidelines:
  • Vegetables and fruits (canned, fresh, or frozen)
  • Lean protein (chicken breast, fish, and beans)
  • At least three ounces of whole-grain (cereals, bread, rice, or pasta) every day
  • Three servings of low-fat or fat-free dairy (milk, yogurt, and cheese) that is fortified with vitamin D
  • Healthy fats (avocado, cheese, and nuts)

It is recommended to decrease your sodium intake. Also, limiting calories from saturated fats and added sugars is very productive.

***Stay away from processed foods, refined sugars, and unhealthy fats.
***Use oils rather than saturated or solid fats for cooking.

#11. Mental Health Matters

When it comes to aging elegantly, your mental health means everything. All of the tips mentioned above are ways of tending to your mental health. Keeping your stress levels at their lowest. Making sure to meditate each day or twice a day will keep you mindful and present. Spending time with family and loved ones goes a long way when being physically, mentally, and spiritually healthy.

Don’t forget your furry loved ones either! According to the Human Animal Bond Research Institute (2020), research studies indicated that pets positively influence factors that contribute to reducing stress and facilitating resilience against heart disease. They also help us to be more connected to a network of social support.

#12. Practice Stress Management

Stress is part of the human condition, and it can be a positive state because it is what motivates you to get things done. The terrible stress that one endures when a loved one passes, you lose your job, or lose a pet, is a part of being human.

Ways to manage stress:

  • Stay positive.
  • Accept that there are things in life you are powerless over
  • Practice being assertive rather than aggressive. Assert your opinions, feelings, or beliefs rather than becoming defensive, angry, or passive.
  • Keep healthy boundaries.
  • Make time for hobbies and interests.
  • Quit smoking
  • Don’t drink alcohol to manage your emotions.
  • Avoid compulsive behaviors such as gambling to lower your stress.
  • Use relaxation techniques, (meditation, breathing exercises, and yoga)
  • Get adequate sleep
  • Talk to a friend

#13. Get Enough Sleep

Getting a good night’s sleep improves mood, brain performance, and overall health and wellness. Not getting enough good sleep regularly increases your risk of getting many disorders and diseases. These range from obesity to heart attack and dementia.

#14. Find New Hobbies

Finding new hobbies can give you a sense of purpose and meaning. It makes life more interesting. Individuals who have hobbies are often able to share stories and experiences with family and friends. They also give you specialized knowledge and can introduce you to other people who are interested in the same thing. Plus, they are a whole lot of fun.

#15. Embrace Your Age

Embrace your age! Research studies revealed that individuals who keep a positive attitude about their age recover better from sicknesses or a disability and live longer. The fact is that we are all going to age, so why not accept and embrace it? Learning how to embrace your age can make all of the difference to your happiness. Do things you enjoy! Take time out of your busy day to walk among the trees or beaches. Go back to that old hobby you had years ago, you know, the one you enjoyed but didn’t have time for. Volunteering is a great way to give back and feel good about yourself.

Whatever brings you joy and happiness….do it.
Prevention is one of the best ways to age with elegance. Do the right things by seeing your doctor and dentist regularly. As you age, stay up on the health tests. These may seem like small things, but they can not only save your life but add years to it.

***Disclaimer: This is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any further questions or concerns you may have with your provider.***

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