Aging Gracefully – what does this mean?

Do not go Gentle into that Goodnight” I recently came across this quote by Thomas Dylan and it started me thinking about the aging process.  Should we ‘age gracefully’ or fight it ‘tooth and nail’.  Personally I believe that age is just a number and this number is not as important as your physical and mental well-being.  Your age doesn’t matter if you feel great, have vitality, energy, and are working at disease prevention.  The question remains what should you do to get this sense of well-being?  How drastic should these efforts be?

So let’s start with what we cannot change.    We get older every year, bringing us a little bit closer to the inevitable, face to face with our mortality.  This one fact alone may account for a great deal of the anxiety associated with aging. As we age there is some change we can’t control.  With menopause we begin to live with a different hormonal environment. The appearance and function of our body changes and requires that we adapt. Our roles in life change dramatically as our children grow older and leave home and we become grandparents rather than parents.  These changes are inevitable and need to be accepted.  Acceptance will allow you to relax and lower your anxiety.

Now lets talk about what we can change.  We can change what we put in our bodies.  We can choose to eat a high level of nutrition; eating the rainbow to achieve the maximum amount of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.   We can change how much exercise we get, our water intake, the amount of sleep we get.  These are all important factors for general health and will make a big impact in our appearance.  If you have dark circles under your eyes, you may have what we call diary face; if you have a swollen face or blotchy skin you may have gluten face.  If your skin is dry and dehydrated you may have wine face.  Having youthful looking skin is an inside job and these are all things that can easily be adjusted.  If what you see in the mirror is causing you daily strife then you may be interested in some minor cosmetic treatments to lower the anxiety associated with aging skin.  Relaxing muscles with botox will soften wrinkles, dermal fillers will soften deep lines or a vampire face-lift will tighten skin, decrease redness and prevent wrinkles.  Often these treatments will give you the motivation to make other important changes.

Graceful aging means finding a balance between acceptance of the inevitable and doing what we can to remain vital and healthy as long as possible.  Karen McGee

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