Positive Aging: How to Age Well in an Anti-Aging Culture
By Pause Well-Aging | June 7, 2021
At PAUSE we believe in well-aging: aging well on your own terms. In a culture where standards of beauty celebrate youth, we have a tendency to discuss anti-aging instead of aging well. It’s Pause Well Aging’s mission to change the conversation around aging. This concept doesn’t mean doing everything possible to look like you’re still in your 20s. Instead, it’s about embracing your physical changes and the idea that beauty doesn’t peak at any one point in your life - it keeps evolving. And the crazy thing is, aging gracefully means different things for different women. However you envision aging well, positive aging is the key to aging on your own terms.
What is Positive Aging?
While it may seem like an odd idea at first, the best way to facilitate a long and happy life is to embrace aging. In fact, Yale University did a study that proved that your attitude toward aging may affect your life expectancy. Out of the 660 study participants, those who allowed themselves to have a positive outlook on their age lived an average of 7.5 years longer. What’s more, those 7.5 years had a tendency to be of a higher quality than expected. That’s healthy aging!
In other words, research shows that viewing the aging process as a natural, beautiful thing instead of something to fight against can give you a better life. Of course, this doesn’t mean that aging well allows you to stop caring for yourself. But it does mean you should care for your body however feels right to you - whether it be advanced skincare treatments or simple skin hydration. Give yourself permission to feel beautiful as you are rather than emulating younger people or conforming to someone else’s definition of what it means to age beautifully.
Well-Aging vs. Anti-Aging
Anti-aging is a term that’s tossed around by marketing companies. The idea is that older people should want to turn back the clock on the aging process. All this does, though, is place way too much of an emphasis on age as a bad thing. If you choose well-aging instead, the changes won’t feel so difficult. The reason? You won’t be hyper focused on aging being the enemy.
Some people believe that the term “aging well” is ageist, but it actually means to still be full of life, despite the fact that you may have some wrinkles or gray hair. Remember: someone who is 35 and obsessed with anti-aging is more likely to feel they are battling natural changes to their body. That type of thinking is tiring and takes a mental toll on your self-esteem. Positive aging means living life to the fullest and embracing new phases of life. And when you look at it that way, aging well is definitely something we should all aspire to.
How Do You Promote Positive Aging?
No matter the conversation around you, embrace the idea of beauty as an evolution. Be mindful of your own outlook on life and how you define aging well. Does your image of aging beautifully come from within you or from someone else?
Having positive emotions about growing older might be difficult at first, but through self-love and remaining physically active, you should enjoy being the person you see in the mirror. Read on for some tips to help you learn how to age positively.
What is the Secret to Aging Well? 5 Tips for Aging Well
There are several secrets to positive aging, and none of them involve contouring your face. Placing a greater emphasis on how you feel instead of how you look is one way to age well. Here are five others!
Tip 1. Stay Connected with Your Social Network
When we say this, we don’t mean following people on social media and unfairly comparing your life to theirs. Instead, we mean staying socially connected to your friends and family. Friends have even been credited with strengthening our immune system, and one study shows they can give you a 50 percent chance of living longer. Therefore, be sure to spend time with your friends, especially those who are committed to aging beautifully.
Tip 2. Hydrate and Eat a Healthy Diet
Staying well-hydrated and eating well help you look and feel your best. By increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables, you’ll have a healthier body, which goes a long way toward aging well. There are several diets that specifically address this need, including the Mediterranean diet. Don’t be afraid of eating carbs, either, but do make sure you eat whole grains.
Tip 3. Take Care of Your Skin
Aside from hydrating the inside of your body with water, there are many skin products that can help your skin look its best! For example, the Well-Aging Collection from Pause deeply hydrates and instantly cools your skin. The second part of this process, which is the Hot Flash Cooling Mist, is especially helpful for removing the discomfort associated with hot flashes.
Tip 4. Stay Physically Active but Well-Rested
Remaining physically active as you age is a good way to boost your mental health and counteract some of the effects of menopause. At the same time, you need to remain well-rested to fully gain all of the benefits. Try to get at least seven hours of sleep per night.
Your best bet for remaining physically active is to find movement you enjoy try walking, biking, or swimming. You might also want to incorporate regular stretching, strength training, and balance exercises. The idea is to be active without doing something that will put too much wear and tear on your body.
Tip 5. Live with a Purpose
Having a purpose in life will give you a reason to get out of bed every day. Whether that purpose is to care for someone else or to volunteer at your local library, you’ll feel much more satisfied with life if you can define your role in it. Another bonus for this particular tip is that it will usually include socializing with others, which we’ve already seen can have a positive impact on aging.
Bonus Tip: Women Who Age Well
Some women are lucky enough to age well, regardless of what they do. For the rest of us, it’s important to realize that looking and feeling young are two different things. Don’t tell yourself that you can’t do something because you’re “too old.” Embrace your life fully and do whatever you’d like, as long as it won’t hurt you or others.
Articles Related to Positive Aging and Aging Gracefully
If you’d like to read further information about the benefits of positive psychology on growing older, we recommend the following:
- 5 “Musts” for Living Your Best Life by Ageist’s David Harry Stewart
- Silver Streaking: How to Go Gray Gorgeously
- The New Rules of Dressing Your Age (They’re Not What You Think)