You’ve seen them, people in their 80’s or 90’s, maybe even a hundred with that glint in their eye, giant smile and a sassy attitude. You might think “that’s how I want to be at that age!” According to Deepak Chopra in his meditation series “Energize Your Life, Secrets for a Youthful Spirit”, aging well with a youthful spirit is not difficult to accomplish for most of us. Our bodies age, that’s a given. We CAN have a youthful mind, outlook and spirit if we decide that’s what we want.
Starting his career in internal medicine and endocrinology Dr. Chopra became frustrated with the philosophy and treatments in the medical field and how they affected his patients. Impressively and passionately Deepak has worked for years with world leaders in science and alternative medicine to discover ways to slow the aging process. Below Dr. Chopra shares seven of his tips to age well and embrace a youthful spirit.
Deepak Chopra’s 7 things people have in common who age well:
- Meditation is the most powerful anti-age technique you can do. Deepak says meditation “establishes awareness at the level of an ageless body & timeless mind.”
- Having wide social support system with family, friends and community groups.
- Close emotional relationships with family and friends.
- Take a multivitamin and mineral supplement daily.
- Good sleep and daily physical activity. Doesn’t have to be extreme, most any form of movement like walking, even standing helps.
- Life long curiosity.
- Willingness to undertake new challenges.
Pretty straightforward and all very important for us to work towards. Yet…there seems to be something missing here…
Number 8 ~ Laughter and A Sense of Humor
I would add an eighth tip to the great list above: Laughter and a Sense of Humor. Not only are laughter and keeping a healthy sense of humor important for a youthful spirit, laughter is one of the best antioxidants there is and gives our immune system a boost for up to 24 hrs. This HelpGuide.org article Laughter is the Best Medicine tells us how laughter is a key to enjoying a long life. Some of the benefits include increased blood flow to the heart & brain and release of endorphins, the feel good hormone. Did you know 10-15 minutes of laughter can burn 40 calories!?!
I was listening to a Tara Brach podcast Fear of Aging: Finding Freedom in this Impermanent World Part 1 and Part 2 and she says “when we learn to face the inevitability of change and loss without resistance, we can discover true peace and freedom in the midst.” The three related pathways to freedom Tara says are “refuge in the present moment, love and awareness.”
What does this have to do with having a youthful spirit? I believe we can age well if we are realistic and release negative feelings about aging, embrace Deepak’s “Seven Things,” adding in laughter and a sense of humor. If you get a chance, Tara’s podcast is well worth the listen.
Two youthful spirits:
Some of you know my Dad, who is 88 years young. He is a great example of someone with a youthful spirit. My Dad is an elected official and currently president of his board. He goes for long walks, has a Pinochle card group on Fridays, meets friends for coffee every Wednesday and has the most beautifully landscaped yard he loves to putter in. Anytime I ask, “how ya feeling Dad?” he says, “GREAT!” then excitedly tells me about his adventures.
We had new floors put in recently and needed the baseboards replaced on the main level, stairs and downstairs of our home. Instead of the two-man crew we expected to finish the job, imagine our surprise when we opened the door to Bill. A tall, lanky man with a mop of white hair, an easy smile, a million jokes and a proud 78 years young, Bill was a joy. He worked tirelessly and cheerfully for a day and a half on his knee-pads with very few breaks. Bill happily shared he had jobs booked through at least the next two months. He showed us the cutest pictures of Ella, his new Australian Shepard puppy. If you know anything about that breed, they are very high energy! Perfect to keep up with Bill.
There are many examples of people aging well with youthful spirits, more than I have space to write here. This year I turn 70 (how did that happen!?!) but that is just my physical body’s age. I may have a few extra kinks and crunchies here and there but my soul is ageless. My plan is to age well with a youthful spirit for the rest of my days. And I promise to always laugh at your hilarious and silly jokes! I hope you join me.♥
One more thing…
I have been thinking about starting a monthly Women’s Forum. A place for friends to honestly discuss anything that affects or interests us like; aging gracefully, spirituality, pathways to good health, relationships (love, forgiveness), sharing our journeys, how we grieve, how we celebrate, current issues, the possibilities are endless. A place to let our inner Goddess shine compassionately and where we can laugh or cry. If you are interested or have other ideas please drop me an email or comment below. Two biggies I feel are important: everyone is heard, one person speaks at a time.
I also plan to invite more guest authors to write here, like Irene’s beautiful article “Lightness of Being” from last month. Hearing other voices about where their path in life has taken them, how they got where they are today and what they have learned would be a treasure. If you would like to share your story, let’s talk. I would like to give you a voice.
Till next time…
Peace & Love ♥