Do I look the best I can for my age?
It’s easy to think that our looks are totally dependent on the genetics we were born with, but what if that wasn’t true? Time and time again science is proving that 70 percent or more of the way we age is dependent on how well we take care of ourselves. So, if you find yourself looking in the mirror and wondering just who that face belongs to, help is here.
There was a time in my early fifties when I was single, that I had a terrific bout of heartbreak. You know the kind—you can’t sleep, you aren’t eating well, maybe you huddle up in a ball of misery, or you distract yourself constantly by overworking and complaining to your friends.
Yes, I was there. And I was miserable. And my face showed it. I looked in the mirror one morning and was shocked and dismayed to see that I appeared to have aged 10 years. My skin had lost its glow, my eyes looked tired, and it seemed I had sprouted wrinkles overnight! It was alarming.
My cells were suffering because the thoughts I was thinking and the feelings I was indulging in weren’t healthy.
Fortunately, I had some tools available to begin repairing the damage. And I’m happy to report that my body did respond. My skin, eyes, and demeanor sprang back to normal in a relatively short period of time.
My experience was a dramatic rehearsal of what happens as we age. Usually, you can’t see yourself aging from one day to the next because the process is so gradual. On the other hand and for the same reason, you can’t immediately see the benefits of adopting a healthier lifestyle.
You have to trust that the antioxidants in that kale you just ate really will stop free radicals from injuring your cells, that the exercise you do will make your bones strong and keep your lung capacity and your muscles in good shape, and that the meditation practice you commit to will make a difference in keeping stress down and cell repair tip-top.
Here’s what I did and still do to look the best I can:
- Trust that I have the know-how to take me where I want to go.
- Engage in different forms of exercise and movement such as dance, walking, high-intensity intervals, yoga, and resistance training.
- Choose only high-quality foods and prepare most of my meals at home.
- Treat my skin with loving care: get regular facials and use products that leave out the nasty parabens, fragrances, and petroleum by-products.
- Spend time with happy, exuberant people.
- Get 7-8 hours of restful sleep.
- Get into a habit of daily meditation of some kind—it doesn’t have to be sitting still and fighting my monkey mind. Automatic writing, ecstatic dance, and walking meditation are some options, among others.
There are so many things you can do to bolster your loveliness, and if you’re not already doing them, you may think they involve too much work, deprivation, time, or cost. My mission is to help you realize that most of what will keep you looking and feeling youthful is to develop good habits and incorporate them slowly so that they stick for the long haul.