Saturday 21 October 2017

8 Ways to Feel Young Again.

people elderly woman smiling

You’ve probably heard someone say that “youth is a mindset”. That’s all well and good, but this platitude doesn’t help us feel any lighter on our feet. It doesn’t take away the crow’s feet or the inability to “get” younger people, or the sudden, strange desire for go to bed at 9 pm.
So what does it mean? What does it truly mean to be young, and to remain so?
Youth isn’t just about a set of physical attributes or abilities. It’s about zest and optimism and the ability to see opportunity. It’s about remaining teachable and flexible. It’s to be excited about the world around you, to be open to new experiences and challenges. Youth is defined by action, by not letting disappointment and failure safety-shackle you to the ground during the storm of life—it is defined by opening your arms and welcoming that storm, wrestling it like Pecos Bill and his tornado.
There are ways to regain this mindset, no matter how long it has been lost—nothing is ever truly lost, after all, only set aside, ready to be picked back up. To do this, let’s take a look at 8 ways to feel young again.

Be Grateful
Being grateful for the good in your life is the key to positivity, and positivity is one of the keys to youth!
The practice of gratitude has many faces, ranging from being willing to say a simple “thank you,” to journaling about what you’re grateful for, to actively giving back to the community through charity and volunteering. It enhances empathy and reduces aggression and the desire for revenge.
In short, it negates the bitterness that can build up over a lifetime, making us old in spirit.
The ability to be thankful for and to focus on what you have rather than complaining about what you deserve can shift aside years of burdens.
Gratitude can even improve physical health—grateful people experience fewer body aches and pains, and, in general, feel healthier than negative people. They’re also more likely to exercise, eat well, and take care of their bodies.
In a way, negativity is a way of giving up, and giving up is part of what makes us feel older. Creating a greater sense of optimism and positivity through gratitude helps you have more energy and motivation to do more youthful things.
Work to change your outlook by focusing on the good things in life, and you’ll take a huge step toward becoming your younger self!
Be Social
Becoming and remaining socially active is incredibly important to the maintenance of cognitive and emotional health—friends keep us young.
Socialization is a deep-seated, human need, even for those who value their alone time. Aging can often come with isolation—children move away, and friends and family disperse over time. Combined with events like retirement and health issues that limit mobility, socialization is often allowed to fall by the wayside.
But research has shown that older adults that have stronger social networks have a much higher quality of life, are healthier, and live longer than those who are isolated. Socialization also acts as a protectant against mental decline, stimulating the brain and guarding against age-related cognitive problems.
Not only this, but friends keep a constant flow of new and fresh ideas coming into your life, and those fresh ideas are a big part of what make the youthful so vital and radiant.
So if you’re finding yourself increasingly alone as the years go by, reach out. Join a club or a church or other organization that promotes socialization, or try friend-finding websites such as You’ll feel all the younger for it.

Change Your Routine
Even better, combine this with socialization. Instead of getting up and reading the paper with your cup of coffee, head over to a café and have breakfast there, instead.
Exposing yourself to new activities and people helps you to retain that zest for life that many envy in the young. Humans are creatures of habit, and it becomes easy, especially as we grow older, to do the same things day after day.
But that’s a trap!
Studies have shown that when we engage in the same activities over and over, year after year, time actually seems to speed up in our perception. That’s because the brain actually glosses over familiar experiences. But the new and the novel arrest our attention, and seem to slow time down.
So new experiences not only supply you with energy and fresh ideas, but also help you to slow down and enjoy your life—to enjoy all life has to offer, in fact.
Don’t be afraid of change. Take that international trip you’ve always wanted to go on. Go talk to that stranger. Change something up, and you’ll be a step closer to a youthful mindset.
Spend Time With the Young
If you can’t quite remember how to be young, and feel detached from the generations that came after you, there’s one thing you can do to remedy this. Spend time with them!
Spending time with children, especially, is a great way to rekindle your sense of wonder. It’s there, you know. Hiding deep beneath piles of adult-y things like responsibility, fear of failure, dignity, and social norms. Dig it out!
Volunteer to read to children at your local library, or teach them at church programs. Those with the wisdom that years bring have much to teach the young, but the young have much to teach, as well. Be open to what they have to say, and try to let go of the idea that to be older is to eschew playing in the grass and laughing in the sun.
Play with your grandchildren, if you have them. Play make-believe, play with building blocks, play video games—just play.
Don’t take yourself too seriously during all this, and you’ll regain that twinkle in your eye, and that old sense of humor you once had.

Keep Love Alive
Few things make us feel as alive, vital, and youthful as romance. Amongst the forms of social connection, this is the ultimate, the most intimate of bonds. And love has the potential to set us free from the trappings of an old mindset.
Plan a romantic night with your partner, and really work to make it sparkle. Go all-out. String up lights, procure a bottle of something fancy and bubbly and sweet, and use everything you know about your partner to woo him or her.
Love is a motivator. It drives us, makes us do crazy things.
Here’s a tip. Do crazy things.
Don’t let a calcified shell grow over your relationship—break out of your habits, as we’ve recommended, and try new things. Go out into the moonlight with a picnic basket, or take a stroll along the beach, if you never have. Be spontaneous.
Rekindle your flame, and it will power up your life, motivating and energizing you to act—and as we know, action is vital to maintaining a sense of youth.

Exercise Your Body
Want energy? Don’t look for it in coffee. Look for it in exercise!
Exercise makes us feel young, giving us both motivation and confidence—two mental markers of youth.
Many of us stop exercising as we become more deeply enmeshed in our kids, our work, and our other responsibilities. We feel we don’t have time.
But try this mental trick. Don’t say that you don’t have time to exercise. Tell the truth—say “it’s not a priority”. Using this phrase reminds us that we do have the time, but that we are simply not prioritizing exercise.
So make it a priority. Go to the gym before work, or take a daily walk in the afternoon—whatever it takes to get your heart rate up. Many studies have confirmed that as little as 30 minutes of walking a day is enough to reap serious health benefits.
Go for that walk. You won’t regret it.

Eat Healthily
Just as important as exercise is a healthy diet. What we eat greatly affects how we feel and how we look. Want the confidence, stamina, and energy it takes to maintain a youthful outlook? Make sure you’re putting quality foods into your body.
Eating a variety of foods that include items from all food groups is the best way to make sure you get all of the vitamins and minerals that you need.
Eating well, especially if it’s something you’ve never paid attention to, can feel like an overwhelming task, but it’s not! Make sure you eat fruits and vegetables, whether they be fresh, frozen or canned. Get protein from varied sources, like fish, peas, and beans. Enjoy whole-grain cereals, breads, or rice for your grains. And finally, make sure you consume foods which are fortified with vitamin D to keep those bones healthy, and switch to healthy fats such as olive oil for your cooking.
See! It’s not hard. The little bit of extra thought, though, is worth it when the rewards are so great.

Reconnect With Your Youth
Finally, reconnect with the greatest aspects of your own youth.
What was your favorite band when you were growing up? Your favorite television show? Your hobby, your favorite book, your dream job? Revisit these things.
Enjoy them. Allow yourself to love them again.
You want to find the mindset you once had—marry the best of your youth with the best of the experience you have today. Find what makes you passionate, and you’ll find what makes you youthful.
Also ask yourself how your youthful pursuits can translate into the life you have today. Did you love to read? Perhaps it’s time to write that family history.
Looking back at your life doesn’t have to remind you of what you’ve lost—it can remind you of what you still have. It’s easier than you think to slip back into that youthful mindset when you surrounded yourself with music and photos and loves from that time of your life.
Live With Passion
Youth is not just one thing. It’s many things. It’s passion and open-mindedness. It’s the willingness to take a risk. It’s the ability to be teachable, to engage with your sense of wonder. It’s positivity and optimism. And so much more.
With these 8 tips, anyone can feel young again, but you have to take action.
Go to it, young one.

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