Most of us associate looking and feeling younger with our physical bodies.
As we age, the appearance of gray hair and wrinkles and the onslaught of aches and pains we never had before can sometimes leave us feeling like all the “good stuff” is over.
Bitterness, cynicism and resentment become all too common after middle age, and wear us down mentally and emotionally.
The Science of Emotion
In the most recent anti-aging news, scientists at the University of Minnesota and Stanford University have confirmed that keeping our sense of “awe” alive actually changes our perception of time, helps us stay younger, and lets us know how to prevent aging.
Benefits of being awed included an increased sense of contentment with life and a desire to help others. According to the study, those who allow awe into their lives also felt they had more time to do the things they’d always wanted to do.
How Do We Find Awe?
You don’t have to take expensive vacations or learn to sky dive to experience awe.
Reading, helping others and reminiscing can play a part in changing how you view your place in the world.
Interacting with like-minded, positive people and engaging in stimulating conversations make you more likely to be positive.
The research itself isn’t new; other scientists have confirmed that keeping awe alive in your life helps teach you how to prevent aging and reduces your risk for mental disorders including depression and anxiety. Research has also shown that a sense of awe promotes better health, more efficient brain function and an improved cardiovascular system.
Benefits of Allowing the Awe Experience Into Your Life
• You won’t feel as if time is running out.
• You will be willing to offer more of your time and become more generous.
• You will place more value on experiences than on material things.
Dr. Kirk Schneider, author of “Awakening to Awe,” says that being open to the mystery and wonder of life is the key to staying positive and maintaining hope for the future.
Seven Methods to Feel Younger…Longer
1. Regular Exercise – work in mild exercise each and every day to keep your body fit and prevent obesity, arthritis, heart disease and diabetes. Swimming, walking and biking also help clear your mind of stress so that you sleep better!
2. Watch Your Diet – avoid high fat and high sugar foods that rob your body of the nutrition and energy it needs. Instead, choose foods that feed not only your body but also your brain. Leafy greens, fatty fish and whole grains give your body long-lasting energy that protects your cells from damage and deterioration.
3. Enjoy the Outdoors – when you spend time outside, every sense is stimulated. Staying inside in front of the television will only make you feel isolated and contribute to feelings of depression.
4. Make Your Mind Work – reading and completing puzzles help your brain stay youthful. Just as a body becomes lazy when you don’t exercise, so does the mind.
5. Socialize With Young People – older people have life experience and knowledge that should be shared with the younger generations. Volunteering to teach or mentor allows you to pass on what you’ve learned in your life while positively influencing someone who may not have the opportunity otherwise. Being around younger people encourages you to see the world through their eyes. The energy of young people is contagious!
6. Try Something New – leave your comfort zone. Take dance lessons or participate in seminars on topics you might not have considered. Go back to school to learn a new profession. Start a hobby you never had time for or thought was “frivolous.” Go on trips you’ve always wanted to take and soak up the world around you.
7. Maintain Positivity – no matter what, remember that your life is still going…you still have much to offer. Laugh as much as possible, surround yourself with happy people and get the most out of every single moment. Human beings are living far longer than ever before. You have time to do all the things you’ve always wanted to do, along with the maturity to appreciate them.
We’ve all heard the adage “you only look as young as you feel.” Now, scientists have proven this saying is true. Keep your mind young, positive and hopeful.
Live every moment to the fullest and open yourself to the power of “awe.” Your heart, mind and body will thank you!
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