Jo Sea­gar: how to con­trol the age­ing process

We can’t turn the clock back, says Jo Sea­gar, but we can seize con­trol of our time and turn our backs on the neg­a­tive ex­pec­ta­tions of age.

Australian Women’s Weekly NZ - - CONTENTS -

Chang­ing your be­liefs about age­ing is, I be­lieve, a po­tent way to coun­ter­act its ef­fects. How to pre­vent or at least slow down the age­ing process is one that hu­man­ity has long pon­dered and in­ves­ti­gated. As a re­sult we can in­dulge in the lat­est beauty treat­ments, boost our di­ets with su­per­foods and vi­ta­min sup­ple­ments or par­take of more bizarre rit­u­als such as po­lar dips and snail slime fa­cials.

Maybe some ther­a­pies have a de­gree of merit and are worth con­sid­er­a­tion, but oth­ers… well, bear in mind the old say­ing, “If it sounds too good to be true, it prob­a­bly is.”

How­ever, there is an anti-age­ing prod­uct that’s pretty ef­fec­tive. It won’t cost you any­thing and is so easy to ac­cess. I’m talk­ing about your mind.

Some say the hu­man mind is the most pow­er­ful heal­ing force known. It cer­tainly has the abil­ity to change how you think about grow­ing older, and this can af­fect how you look and feel.

To be age­less is to defy the rules of what it sup­pos­edly means to be this age or that age. Age is just a num­ber and you can feel younger at 65 than you were at 30 just by chang­ing your at­ti­tude and life­style.

No more neg­a­tive talk such as “it must be my age that makes me for­get things” or “at my age it’s nor­mal to slow down”. I’m just not buy­ing into that. I hate hear­ing peo­ple say they’re hav­ing a se­nior mo­ment when they for­get a name or the lo­ca­tion of their glasses (letho­log­ica is the word to de­scribe that and it can hap­pen at any age). What they’re more likely to be ex­pe­ri­enc­ing is men­tal over­load from try­ing to jug­gle too many tasks, or maybe they’re just tired and need more sleep.

You can help to keep cog­ni­tive de­cline at bay by chal­leng­ing your mind with the daily crossword puz­zle or start learn­ing that sec­ond lan­guage you al­ways meant to mas­ter. Re­mem­ber, it’s not about age, it’s about at­ti­tude. Don’t let your years dic­tate what you can and can­not do!

Adopt an age­less, healthy mind­set and stop be­liev­ing your brain is turn­ing to cus­tard just be­cause you’ve cel­e­brated your 50th birth­day or gone through menopause.

I love see­ing older women dressed fash­ion­ably, with cool hair­styles, gor­geous make-up and on-trend shoes. I think it’s great when some­one does some­thing that might be con­sid­ered too young for their age.

For ex­am­ple, I’ve had trav­ellers on my Ital­ian cook­ing tours who are in their 80s and not only sprightly phys­i­cally but, more im­por­tantly, they’re open to new ideas and ex­pe­ri­ences men­tally. We now hear of 90-year-olds vol­un­teer­ing at Hos­pice, open­ing In­sta­gram ac­counts and walk­ing the Mil­ford Track. Okay, maybe you can’t re­al­is­ti­cally con­tem­plate do­ing a triathlon – frankly, I was never into them my­self – but com­pro­mise is a fine thing… an elec­tric bike makes the rail trail a breeze and those Nordic walk­ing poles have to be tried to be be­lieved! Find a cou­ple of role mod­els who are your age or above and start chan­nelling them and be­ing in­spired by them.

Cel­e­brate your years and be thank­ful for all the good things you’ve got. Yearn­ing for a re­turn to the younger you is a waste of valu­able time. In­stead, make the most of who you are to­day. If you have a Gold Card, don’t view it as a sign of de­crepi­tude but rather as a great way to get a dis­count on that sky­div­ing ex­pe­ri­ence or swim with the dol­phins.

We’re in­clined to think that time con­trols us, but in fact we can take con­trol of time and make it our own. I never want to think that the best days are be­hind me. I much pre­fer to be­lieve there are many more won­der­ful ones still

to come.

Yearn­ing for a re­turn to the younger you is a waste of valu­able time.

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