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Aging Gracefully: The Art of Aging, Mind, Body, and Soul

June 2, 2023

7 min read

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Author : United We Care
Aging Gracefully: The Art of Aging, Mind, Body, and Soul

 

Introduction

We live in a world where if we see one wrinkle, we start panicking. Right from actors to global politicians, all of them look impeccable, whatever their age might be. So, it’s only natural to ask if you are aging gracefully or not, whether you look and feel the best. The art of aging gracefully is all about taking excellent care of yourself. If you are at that age where you are worried about your health and looks, let me help you through this article on what you can do to actually age gracefully so that you can lead a great life, wherever your age might be.

“Count your age by friends, not years. Count your life by smiles, not tears.” – John Lennon [1]

Understanding the Concept of “Aging Gracefully”

When I was a kid and thought of getting old, I felt that I would be like my grandmother. She was a beautiful lady, amazingly dressed at all times, so full of life, and running around even till her last days. To me, that was exactly what the idea of “Aging gracefully” was- to age naturally while living the most positive life and having good health.

There are certain important factors related to aging gracefully [2] [3] [4]:

  1. You have a healthy lifestyle where you exercise regularly, have a balanced diet, and avoid alcohol and smoking.
  2. You deal with every situation positively and are easily able to bounce back from any setbacks, and have high self-worth.
  3. You have people around you who support and love you. Your relationships are meaningful and encourage you.

All these factors can contribute to you feeling at the top of the world, physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Importance of Aging Gracefully

Aging gracefully is important for a lot of reasons, specifically so that we don’t spoil our health by thinking that we are getting old. So let’s find out its importance [5]:

Impotance of Aging Gracefully

  1. Health and Well-being: When you age gracefully, you make sure to have a healthy lifestyle where you exercise regularly and eat healthy. That way, you can reduce the risks of chronic illnesses like heart disease, hypertension, cancer, etc.
  2. Quality of Life: When you start aging gracefully, you will start having a better quality of life. You would be satisfied with where you are at in life, have good capabilities of thinking and remembering information, and not react badly to anything that life throws your way.
  3. Reduced Healthcare Costs: When you decide to take care of yourself, indulge in healthy practices, and age gracefully, even your healthcare costs will come down. That way, others who actually need it can use the resources.
  4. Role Modeling: You can be an amazing inspiration and role model for future generations. For example, Betty White was almost 100 when she passed away, but what a magnanimous life she lived. She’s truly an inspiration for so many people globally. You, too, can encourage kids to lead a positive and healthy lifestyle right from childhood. In fact, you can help end discrimination against the elderly and shorten the generation gap.

Tips for Aging Gracefully

Aging gracefully does not take so much effort. Here’s what you can do [6]:

Tips for Aging Gracefully

  1. Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle: You can start following a regular and healthy routine. You can add 30 minutes of exercise to your schedule and eat a healthy and balanced diet. Plus, if you can avoid consuming too much alcohol and smoking.
  2. Nurture Social Connections: Try remaining in touch with people. In fact, you can invite people to social activities. You can go watch movies and engage in hobbies with the people you love. That way, you will not feel lonely and be able to lead a happy and long life.
  3. Prioritize Mental Health: Another important thing you can do is keep your mind running toward new skills. You can get into reading, solving puzzles, or picking up a new hobby. The more your mind is active and your thoughts are positive, the better your mental health will be. This will also help you reduce the chances of any disorders like dementia.
  4. Practice Self-Care: You can bring meditation, breathing exercises, and relaxation techniques into your lifestyle. You can even work toward getting enough sleep and managing stress levels. When you prioritize self-care, you will be able to have good health overall.
  5. Embrace a Positive Attitude: Life has always thrown challenges at us. In old age, it would be even more difficult. But, if you have a positive attitude toward life, filled with acceptance of what’s going to come, and the ability to bounce back, you can lead a great life. In fact, you would be able to give your self-esteem a huge boost as well.

How You Can Start the Journey Toward Aging Gracefully

If you are new to this journey of aging gracefully, here’s what you need to do [7]:

  1. Remember that you can grow and develop all throughout your life. Look at Meryl Streep! You just need to have a purpose. Read a book, write a book, or take up a challenge.
  2. You can learn something new every day. Just do anything that keeps your mind and body active. For example, Amitabh Bachchan, an Indian actor, debuted in Hollywood at the age of 70 years. Kapil Dev, an Indian cricketer, shifted to golf post-retirement and is equally successful in the new field.
  3. Life will have its ups and downs. Prepare yourself for that emotionally. Maybe you can develop coping strategies to deal with all sorts of situations so that your mental and emotional health is well taken care of.
  4. Don’t push yourself too much, also. You may not be very old, but you aren’t 20 either. So, be mindful of your age. That way, you can really improve your quality of life.

Conclusion

We all will grow old at some point in life. So, if at the early stages of being old, you understand the art of “Aging gracefully,” life would probably become a lot easier. You can bring on healthy habits in life, keep great relationships around you, and take care of your mental and emotional health. With a positive attitude toward yourself and your life, you can lead a full life with happy moments that you can cherish lifelong. Just know what you’d like to do in this new phase of life. You can even pick up something new that you wanted to do but couldn’t as long as you don’t put yourself in any harm’s way. Go for it all!

If you want to learn the art of “Aging gracefully,” connect with our expert counselors or explore more content at United We Care! At United We Care, a team of wellness and mental health experts will guide you with the best methods for your well-being.

References

[1] “A quote by John Lennon,” Quote by John Lennon: “Count your age by friends, not years. Count you…” https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/57442-count-your-age-by-friends-not-years-count-your-life

[2] J. W. Rowe and R. L. Kahn, “Successful Aging,” The Gerontologist, vol. 37, no. 4, pp. 433–440, Aug. 1997, doi: 10.1093/geront/37.4.433.

[3] A. Steptoe, A. Deaton, and A. A. Stone, “Subjective wellbeing, health, and aging,” The Lancet, vol. 385, no. 9968, pp. 640–648, Feb. 2015, doi: 10.1016/s0140-6736(13)61489-0.

[4] C. D. Ryff and C. L. M. Keyes, “The structure of psychological well-being revisited.,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, vol. 69, no. 4, pp. 719–727, 1995, doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.69.4.719.

[5] N. J. Webster, K. J. Ajrouch, and T. C. Antonucci, “Towards Positive Aging: Links between Forgiveness and Health,” OBM Geriatrics, vol. 4, no. 2, pp. 1–21, May 2020, doi: 10.21926/obm.geriatr.2002118.

[6] A. Drewnowski and W. J. Evans, “Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Quality of Life in Older Adults: Summary,” The Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences, vol. 56, no. Supplement 2, pp. 89–94, Oct. 2001, doi: 10.1093/gerona/56.suppl_2.89.

[7] “How People Develop a Sense of Generativity vs. Stagnation,” Verywell Mind, Feb. 15, 2022. https://www.verywellmind.com/generativity-versus-stagnation-2795734

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Author : United We Care

Founded in 2020, United We Care (UWC) is providing mental health and wellness services at a global level, UWC utilizes its team of dedicated and focused professionals with expertise in mental healthcare, to solve 2 essential missing components in the market, sustained user engagement and program efficacy/outcomes.

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