2009 is the year where I looked in the mirror and saw my very first gray hair. I’m guessing I’m not the only one? Ever since, I’ve felt a little different and spent considerable time researching aging. I’ve found some fascinating research being conducted on aging that gives great hope to those who fear sagging bodies, decaying joints, and drooping perspectives. Scientists have found that part of aging is due to genetic programming. In other words, there are programs in our genes that switch on and cause certain aspects of aging to kick into gear.
We are learning how to delay if not turn off those programs. Scientists have been able to extend the lifetime of a little worm called C. elegans by 600% and mice by 26%.* Thus, things are looking positive for prolonging human life in the future. But it’ll take a while before you can go to the doctor and get an injection that will add 10 years to your timeline. I’ve got something to hold you over. Following are 3 tips that you can embrace right now to stay young:
1. Convert Tension to Energy
High school physics teaches that energy can never be lost. It just changes forms. We all have so much tension bound up in our muscles and joints. By learning to stretch, we convert that tension to free-flowing energy. Stretching enables one to move past her aches, pains, cramps, and knots and sense a childlike freedom in the flesh. For this reason, so many are drawn to yoga. It might sound elementary to bend over and touch your toes but there’s nothing elementary about the joy of lying on your back in a totally relaxed state that will remind you of the carefree days of youth spent napping under a fading summer sun.
2. Never Stop Dreaming
I’ve been toying with a business idea but keep getting snagged on the little details. I hear this skeptic in my head saying, “Who would do this?” “Where would I find the money to do that?” “How in the world would I have time?” A very successful entrepreneur friend told me that vision is the highest evolution and those with the courage to dream big are often the most successful. But even more important, I’ve found that those with the courage to dream big have the most vitality, youthfulness, and passion. So if you, like me, tend to get snagged on the little things…give yourself a chance to open your mind and think the big thoughts. John Barrymore said, “You don’t age until your regrets outnumber your dreams.”
3. Stillness is Strength
So much is lost in the modern world’s maddening pace. For instance, it’s harder to find clarity, more difficult to appreciate beauty, increasingly rare to truly savor good food. Another thing less obvious but certainly lost in the madness is human strength. The yogis teach that strength does not come from force, hustle, or effort…but rather from stillness. Think about it. The greatest athletes are those who lock into a state of “flow,” a mental calmness immune to the screaming crowds and pressure packed external scenario. By reclaiming moments of stillness in your day, you will tap into a strength far greater than you thought possible. As you get older, it’s common to feel that your problems are stronger than you. But as I share in my book Livin’ the Moment, one who draws from the depth and beauty of the present moment will find, no matter her age, that she is always stronger than her problems.