We all age but some people age better than others. That is a fact of life. However, there are some things we can do to help us to age well. And we all want that, don't we.
What is the number 1 secret of people who age well? You can forget about secret serums and anti-aging procedures. Growing old gracefully is something you can control by connecting with others.
I am sure you all know that staying connected gets harder as we get older. There are career changes, kids move away, illnesses, deaths. This can make it difficult to meet new people and form friendships.
Regardless, it’s crucial that we reach out and connect to others because it has such a positive impact on our physical and mental health. Having social ties with others wards off depression, loneliness, disability and a lot more.
It really is the secret to aging well. So, what can we do to improve our relationships.
It isn't easy to socialise with family and friends who may live across the country or even across the world. However, where you can, get together on a regular basis with friends and family members who live nearby.
Spending time with people who care about you will leave you feeling upbeat and lively. You can go shopping with friends or enjoy a lunch date with your children.
A great way to stay connected is to exercise with a local friend. This helps keep you both motivated as well as enrich your social lives.
Once you start travelling in new circles, you will develop new likes and dislikes. Make an effort to meet new people, even someone who’s younger. This will keep you energized, renew your zest for life and allow you to see things from a fresh perspective. This will give you a new lease of life that will help you to age well.
While phone calls and video chats are important to keep us connected, they aren’t replacements for face-to-face contact. Make it a point to spend time with one person each day. Being alone day after day makes us feel cut off from others and depressed.
There are always studies about exercising your brain to help you age well. These studies are factual and exercising your brain is one of the best anti-aging things you can do. Find something you enjoy - cooking, puzzles, gardening - and put a twist on it. You may love cooking but do you always cook the same cuisine? Try something different and perhaps more tricky.
Take it a step further and try something new each day. It could be as simple as taking a different route on your way to the grocery store. You can also take a class to learn something new, like a foreign language, computer skill or sport.
Think about relaxing your brain as well as challenging it and take up yoga. This will help both your mind and body to age well and you can make new friends through the classes.
If you like reading, find a book club nearby. If you like knitting, join a knitting club. And if someone in your family, or someone you know, is going through a serious illness or has just passed away, you can find a support group with people who are going through a similar situation.
By helping each other go through these challenges, you’ll be stronger for not having gone through it alone and you’ll have made new friends. Volunteering and helping others out is a great way to meet new people while doing something useful for others.
Finding meaning and purpose in what you do stimulates your brain to release ‘feel good’ hormones which give you what experts refer to as ‘helper’s high.’
When you smile, it takes years off your face because it’s kind of a mini-massage for your facial muscles. Plus, it boosts blood flow to the surface of the skin, so you end up with a glowing and youthful complexion. Win, win as far as I'm concerned.
When you value what’s around you, you’re more likely to engage in activities that boost physical and mental health. Don’t take things or people for granted. People who enjoy life know that it’s all about the little things that happen throughout the day. These people tend to age well too, which is an added bonus.
Undoubtedly, life will throw you curve balls and it can be frustrating. The important thing is to accept what you can’t change. Instead of stressing over things you can’t control. It could be humbling when you’re forced to face your limitations but face it with dignity and a healthy dose of humour.
Use your years of experience and insight to stop burying your feelings because it can lead to resentment and repressed anger. But ignoring it doesn’t make it go away either. That’ll just allow your anxiety and stress to build up.
The best way is to get everything out, is either by talking with someone or writing it down in a journal. Try not to let a talk with your friend turn into a moan session though. You don't want people to avoid spending time with you as all you do is complain!
It's easy to get to a stage in your life when you look around and realise that you are often alone. But you really do need good relationships to help you age well. Don't leave it too late and get stuck in a lonely rut. Get out there!
What are your tips for making new friends or connecting with others? Tell us in the comments below.
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