What does it mean to be ageless?
Is it a physical or mental state of being?
Or is it a state of spiritual awareness?
Or perhaps it is a combination of all three?
The time has come for us to shift our societal beliefs around what it means to age and how we feel about it. In Western culture, we place a strong emphasis on preserving the physical attributes of youth and beauty through the consumption of products and services. Yet a little known secret to ageless living is that it rests on the foundation of adopting an ageless attitude, one that helps you flourish physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.
Take Phyllis Sues for example, she enjoys hiking, dancing, swinging from trapeze and practicing yoga for 45 minutes a day, which she believes is one of the main reasons she continues to live an active lifestyle at the age of 92. Yes, Phyllis is 92 years old and has become an internet celebrity on agelessness. Her story has been covered on major media outlets such as CBS and The Huffington Post.
It is not purely the physical act of doing yoga and swinging from trapeze that keeps someone like Phyllis feeling ageless, it’s her ageless attitude that keeps her on a quest for life. Here are a few tips on how to stay vibrant in mind, body and spirit on the pursuit to longevity and agelessness:
Think Ageless, Be Ageless According to the National Institute on Aging, we are generally living longer and healthier lives. Perhaps some of the most interesting research around agelessness comes from Bruce Lipton, PhD, author of Biology of Belief who is best known for promoting the concept that DNA can be changed by our beliefs. Lipton explains that new biology reveals that we “control” our genome rather than being controlled by it. We all have billions of stem cells designed to repair or replace damaged and aging tissues and organs and these cells are heavily influenced by our thoughts and perceptions about our environment.
So ultimately, our beliefs about aging can either interfere with or enhance our stem cell function so that it regenerates or declines. This breakthrough is fundamental in all healing because it recognizes that when we change our perceptions or beliefs we send totally different messages to our cells, causing them to reprogram. What we think has a profound effect on the development of our cells, so why not cultivate an ageless mindset and attitude for increased longevity? If that’s not compelling enough, meditation on this… Research from the Brain Imaging and Analysis Center at Duke University Medical Center has found that a regular Hatha yoga practice increases gray brain matter density in the hippocampus, the area of the brain associated with self-awareness, compassion and introspection. In addition to increased brain function, research continues to show meditation and yoga’s ability to reduce chronic pain and blood pressure, something that becomes a bigger concern with age.
The Four Keys to an Ageless Body Research continues to show that disease, the loss of physical or mental function and erosion of systems is due to one or more of the following conditions: Rusty cells — free radical oxygen molecules that damage cells and speed up aging Inflammation — damage done to the blood vessel walls leading to degenerative diseases and increased aging Excess sugar — when excess sugar sticks to protein or fat molecules leading to advance glycation end (AGE) damaging all body systems and can contribute to diseases associated
with aging. Stress — the long-term effects of physical, mental or emotional stress are very damaging to the body.
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, long-term exposure to stress hormone cortisol can shrink parts of the brain, damage blood vessels, increase blood sugar levels, heart rate and blood pressure and contribute to chronic inflammation. These four damage cells and DNA, wear down organs and systems, and damage the vascular system that delivers blood and oxygen to the whole body. Whole foods, nutrients, stress reduction techniques like yoga and mediation, exercise, detoxification and relationship improvement have all been proven to help address these issues and lead to a longer and higher quality life.
Align with Spirit Cultivating an ageless mind and body are two important parts but they are not everything. Aligning with Spirit is an important part of the equation as well. Our bodies are divine expressions meant to embody our spirit.
Our connection to Spirit is to integrate ourselves with the creative loving flow of life within us and the larger web that we are all a part of. Connection with nature, whether swimming in the ocean, hiking in the mountains or stargazing on a fall night, is a vital component of being ageless because it connects us to pleasure thus reminding us of our divine nature. Think about it, our human body has evolved to walk on earth, drink its water, nurture its soil, bask in the sweetness of the sun and breathe its air. When we see ourselves as a part of the larger whole we can’t help but be brought back to a sense of vibrancy and youthfulness because it is after all, ageless.
By Liza Pitsirilos