By Alison Wood, Contributing Writer
When it comes to feeling younger, there’s good news, and there’s bad news.
First, the bad news. There is nothing that any of us can do to change our chronological age.
However, the good news is that we can all make changes to help us at least feel younger. Whatever age you are now, you can start implementing the following steps and see how much better you feel.
What we fuel our bodies with will have a huge impact on how we feel. So, if you eat more natural foods, such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and protein, you are giving your body the best chance possible to thrive. Your body also needs fat, but make sure it’s the better kind of fat that comes from olive oil, avocados, nuts, and seeds.
You don’t have to be perfect, and of course, you can have treats here and there. A slice of cake or a glass of wine isn’t going to undo all your good work, but stick to the 80/20 rule of eating healthily 80 percent of the time so you won’t go far from wrong.
Our bodies were designed to move, and as such, exercise can help us to feel better mentally and physically. Choose something that fits with your mobility and something you enjoy. This could be walking, swimming, or an exercise class on YouTube. However, always check with your medical practitioner before starting a new exercise regime.
If you can incorporate some weight-bearing and stretching exercises into your day, so much the better. Yoga or Pilates is great for this also, as a body that can stretch always feels younger.
Research has shown that people who have strong relationships with family and friends are not only healthier and happier, but they live longer too. Nurture existing relationships by inviting family or friends to your home or arrange activities you can all do together, even if it’s just a walk in your local park.
It’s also important to find new friendships. It’s never too late to connect with others, and a great way to meet people is by taking up new hobbies. If you still work or you take up a part-time job, you can also turn colleagues into friends.
Take time for creativity
Keeping our minds active is a great way to feel younger. You are never too old to learn new skills and to explore new pastimes. Ever wanted to learn a second language? Now is a perfect time, and research has even shown that becoming bilingual can help slow aging in the brain and help to stave off dementia.
Take time also to explore your creativity. Write, paint, join a drama group, take up pottery, or pursue any hobby you think you might enjoy. This is your time to shake off any restrictions and just try new things. If you start a hobby and find you don’t enjoy it, then move on to something new. There are no restrictions.
As children, we embraced all kinds of new activities, and explored our creativity freely, never worrying too much about the outcome. Instead, we just enjoyed the process. Making your way back to that childlike freedom can go a long way to helping you feel younger.
Find ways to unwind
If you find you worry a lot or get stressed about things, it’s important to find ways to unwind. Having a relaxed body and mind is a pathway to feeling younger. Different things help different people to unwind. You might find exercise does this for you, or you might want to explore meditation. Reading, gardening, watching a great movie, taking a long bath, or baking cupcakes can all help with relaxation — it just depends on what works for you.
These five steps can all help you to feel younger, but they need to be linked with the right mindset. When we are children, we are curious about the world. Bringing curiosity and wonderment back — and looking at the world with fresh eyes — can give us a renewed sense of enthusiasm for life. Children take time to look at things in the world around them, whether that’s the petals of a flower or a ladybug crawling across a window. If you can incorporate this playfulness into your day, it can go a long way to helping you feel younger again.