Once you reach a certain age, you tend to either laugh or shudder if someone asks you if you’d like to be twenty-one again. But, there can be no doubt that all of us would love to have the boundless energy, smoother skin, glossy hair and carefree attitude to life that we had in our youth.
And, whilst we can’t build you a time machine, we can give you our golden rules to help you look and feel younger.
The experts agree, happiness is a choice. Of course we’d all like to be richer, thinner, or spend our lives holidaying on some exotic beach. But the truth is that even if you had all of those things you wouldn’t enjoy them unless you were truly happy on the inside. Try hard to worry less and smile more. Do you really need to have that fight with your other half that leaves you seething for days, or can you simply walk away? Find one small thing that makes you happy and do it each day – that might be taking ten minutes to relax in the bath with your favourite book, cuddling your dog, or burning scented candles. Do whatever makes you laugh and smile and do it often. Life really is too short not to be happy.
You can eat your way to younger, more glowing skin. And, what you put in your body is more important than what you put on your body. (Although a morning and night cleaning and moisturising routine is crucial too.) Preparing meals you enjoy, which you know will be nutritious for your body, is an act of self-love and getting into the habit of cherishing ourselves is something which we should all do – no matter what age we are.
As we get older we tend to take aches and pains for granted. If you’re suffering from back pain, which can also manifest as indigestion, anxiety, depression, headaches or leg pain, then don’t suffer in silence and make it a priority to get it fixed.
A good osteopath is worth their weight in gold, if you’re walking around with a misaligned spine you’re likely to be stooping and moaning and groaning like an elderly person without even realising it. It’s possible to have a misalignment in your spine without even knowing it.
Sitting for hours at a desk is awful for your back’s health, so if you work in an office, make a point to get up regularly, stretch and walk around, and don’t be a martyr working extra long hours when you don’t need to.
When you train at the gym, don’t just focus on cardio; it’s worth adding in both Pilates and some weights overseen by a trainer and designed to strengthen muscles in your back so you walk tall. Once you have mastered the art of good posture and great back health, you’ll look and feel years younger.
Stress is possibly the number one most ageing thing there is for both your state of mind and for your body. If you find that you are continually stressed, anxious, or angry, then consider calling in an expert. Therapy will help with any underlying issues – there’s no need to go through life nursing an untamed anger or stress problem. Otherwise, mindfulness apps, yoga classes and learning to breathe and laugh things off will work wonders. No, you don’t need to be stressed out or angry every day and almost every problem has a solution. Just breathe. Most things have a way of working out.
You might not want to hear this but refined sugar causes premature ageing due to a process called glycation. This is a type of chemical reaction which damages your collagen and elastin, which in turn makes your skin thinner and less plump and springy. Sugar is also inflammatory, and sends your blood sugar soaring and then crashing – which leaves you feeling tired, moody and lacking in that all-important energy.
Being older is something which we should all feel proud of. Insecurity tends to be a major blight of teenagers and twenty-somethings but as we age, we tend to feel more self-assured. And rightly so – we should be proud of all we have learned and for getting as far as we have. You’re older but not old: wear your age with pride.
We all have busy lives but try to prioritise looking after yourself. We all need ‘me time’ and book ends in our day where we do things which are just for ourselves so we feel like life isn’t just one long to-do list. Book days out so you have things to be excited about and to look forward to and take special care of yourself. You only get one life, try not to yours or your good health for granted, and love yourself.
What helps you feel happy and fulfilled? Let us know in the comments…