Here’s a simple shift that could change everything.
“What we are today comes from our thoughts of yesterday, and our present thoughts build our life of tomorrow: Our life is the creation of our mind.” The Dhammapada
Do you ever think about getting older?
What it will be like?
How you’ll hold up?
Whether you’ll be able to do the things you can do now?
Whether you’ll be hit by some debilitating illness?
How your body will change – or your mind?
A while back I ran a survey to check in on how we feel about aging.
Here’s what I found.
One emotion – just one – called out loud and clear…
- Fear of “not being able to do what I do now”
- Of “being less mobile”
- “Losing my marbles”
- “Not being able to care for myself”
- “Living in pain”
- “Requiring nursing care”
- “Being alone”
- “Being forgotten”
- “Having chronic achiness”
- “Looking older”
- “Becoming Invisible”
All good reasons not to think about it! Which is why most of us don’t until the telltale signs get right up in our face!
The new science of longevity
Aging and longevity are among the most intensely studied areas of science today and what we’re discovering has changed everything we once believed.
What was considered an irreversible, destructive, tightly-wired process, turns out to be… well… rather personal.
The expectation that aging makes us weak, sick, and frail is now being challenged.
Lessons from the “Blue Zones” – areas of the world where we find the most centenarians and people living strong healthy lives well into their later years, are living proof that aging doesn’t have to mean decline. We can live into our older years and remain strong, self-sufficient, healthy, engaged, and productive.
A far cry from the fearful vision most of us hold.
Here’s what science has revealed
- Our genes have only a small influence on our longevity. We once thought our genes controlled our destiny and our lifespan. We now know they play a minor role – only about 25%. Studies of twins with identical genetics programmed to age the same show significant differences in aging when exposed to different environmental influences.
- Around 90% of the signs of aging and disease are related to our lifestyle. The new science of epigenetics – how genes respond to our environment, tells us that our genes are not fixed but are constantly changing in response to everything we experience in life: how we think, move, eat, sleep, worry, stress, relax, connect, commune, pray, and love… All of these external factors cause changes in gene expression that influence how quickly or slowly we age. We may inherit a genetic predisposition for a disease, but unless it’s switched on, that nasty little gene will remain silent.
- Aging is not in lockstep with time. Did you ever notice how some people look older than their years and some look younger or don’t seem to change at all? While we measure our age by the calendar, our “true” or “biological” age is a reflection of our health and can be years younger or older than our calendar years.
- Chronic inflammation is a major contributor to aging. Inflammation is a slow internal destruction caused when our immune system is in continuous high alert due to things like stress, nutritional deficiencies, toxins, medications, etc. We don’t feel it or even realize it’s in play until it erupts into illness. A Harvard medical report links inflammation to virtually every chronic illness: coronary heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer’s. And disease takes a high toll on body and mind, making us old before our time.
- What you believe about aging affects the process – Becca Levy, Ph.D. a leading researcher in the fields of gerontology and psychology of aging, found that those with a more positive self-perceptions of aging lived a full 7.6 years longer than those with a negative perception.
Slowing and reversing our aging clock
Is it possible to reverse time… to heal the damage we’ve done and live stronger happier lives all the way to the very end?
We all age. At different rates and in different ways. And eventually, the signs will show up. But the journey is very personal and driven by our life choices and, surprisingly, our BELIEFS.
Change your mind. Change your body.
Beliefs and expectations have a powerful influence and alter the body physiologically.
Consider the placebo effect where people get better because they believe they are getting medicine. Or the nocebo effect, where people warned about side effects in trials actually experienced them even though they were only given a sugar pill.
Bruce Lipton, Ph.D., a cellular biologist and one of the early researchers in mind/body connection, uncovered what may be the key to longevity and healthy aging. He sums it up in one word: Love.
The biochemistry of love.
When we activate a core “heart feeling”, such as love, appreciation, gratitude or caring, the body responds biochemically, shutting down destructive stress hormones and producing the anti-aging hormone, DHEA. He also notes that fear has the opposite effect on the body, diminishing and aging us prematurely.
In Lipton’s words, “Love actually does make us healthier, happier, and longer living.”
What do you believe about aging?
Are you among those who fear it and “expect” decline?
If so, expectations may deliver the exact results you most fear.
Deepak Chopra in his writings on aging states that we have been so conditioned to think of aging as a progressive mental and physical decline, that that has become our reality. In his words: “You can change your world – including your body – simply by changing your perception.”
“The ‘normal’ experience of the body and its aging is a conditioned response—a habit of thinking and behavior. By changing your habits of thinking and behavior, you can change the experience of your body and its aging.” Deepak Chopra
Instead of seeing aging with fear as a path to decline, shift your view and create an expectation of health and vitality as you age. See yourself growing in strength, experience, wisdom, confidence, satisfaction, and greater happiness – all qualities or aging that we often ignore.
Shifting from fear and worry to a more positive outlook changes the body energetically to strengthen and extend your healthy lifespan.
And as always, if you get stuck and need help, go here to grab some time with me and I’ll guide you. ♥
Want to connect, email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org