Aging is inevitable.
Since it’ll happen anyways, why not make it graceful?
Life is the result of a series of choices. All your habits and vices add up to determine your quality of life. Keep that youthful glow at any age by changing your lifestyle.
Here are few habits that age you faster.
1. Giving Into Cravings
Eating what you crave every once in a while is perfectly normal. But it’s important to make sure treats don’t become habits.
Sweets often contain highly processed sweeteners. They are known to trigger a process called cytokines, which causes inflammation (1). Excessive sugar consumption is linked to conditions like diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer (2).
Sugar also influence physical aging. It contains glycation which makes skin puffy, tired-looking and speeds the onset of wrinkles (3).
Emotionally, giving into craving too often can cause a feeling of loss of control and mistrust of self.
2. Chronic Undersleeping
Adults should spend 7-9 hours every night sleeping. Melotonin, a sleep hormone, repairs DNA and cells while you catch some zzs (4). The human growth hormone, which is important for muscle tone and vitality is also most active during the night (5).
Getting too little sleep every night can dramatically shorten your life (6). Lack of sleep has unwanted physical and psychological effects. The effects of one poor night of sleep can even be seen on your face. A lifetime of undersleeping causes dark circles, sunken cheeks and unbalanced skin.
Missing out on sleep will make you feel sluggish throughout the day. You also become more prone to craving high-calorie foods for a quick burst of energy. This can lead to obesity as your blood sugar levels go out of balance.
3. Not Loving Yourself
Most people spend too much focussing on their daily chores and not enough time or energy on their happiness.
Everyday, make sure to take time for yourself. It can be as simple as reading a good book before bed, drinking your favourite tea in the morning or signing up for an art class.
Investing in yourself will give you more satisfaction day-to-day and contribute to your wellness overall.
4. Using Alcohol As A Problem Solver
A glass of red wine at the end of the day can be great for your health. A whole bottle, on the other hand, won’t do you any good.
Heavy drinking is linked to increased inflammation and slow metabolism (7). It can also cause liver degeneration.
Drinking alcohol is an easy way to escape reality, but it doesn’t solve anything. Emotions that aren’t dealt with fester over time. More often than not, they resurface as bigger problems later on.
Rather than reaching for the liquor cabinet, try writing instead. Putting your problems on paper forces you to work through them. Not only will you get resolution, you’ll also get a better understanding of self.
5. Forgetting To Forgive
Holding grudges is a waste of time. Rather than moving forward, you’re spending energy on holding yourself back.
Grudges cause high blood pressure, stress, anxiety and even depression. Not asking for forgiveness is just as bad: you may feel guilt, lack of control, hopelessness and apathy.
Remember that it’s not just about forgiving the other person: you also have to forgive yourself. Forgive your expectations that weren’t met, forgive the hurt it caused you and forgive the time it took to move on. Forgiveness will set your heart free.
6. Being Antisocial
Spending time with friends is a great way to relax. They can offer a different perspective on your challenges and push you to chase your dreams.
It’s easy to get too caught up in work and forget to have fun. Cancelling your plans with friends is also breaking a promise to yourself. Recharging your batteries shouldn’t be overshadowed by responsibilities.
Try throwing a dinner party or combining your friend groups if you can’t find time for everyone. Maintaining friendships will give you a longer, happier life as well as better health (8).
7. Living A Chemical Life
Chemicals have become a part of everyday life. They’re everywhere: in detergents, toiletries, dish soap, cleaning products and food.
Common household goods often contain sulfates, parabens and phthalates, which mess with hormones and slowly poison your body (9).
Anything that comes into contact with your skin or with your food should be free of toxins. Look for organic products with limited ingredients. You should be able to pronounce every ingredient on the label.
8. Not Prioritizing Intimacy
Being intimate with your partner is essential for good health.
Having regular sexual contact leads to a stronger immune system. It also results in a better response to stress (10). Best of all, it strengthens your relationship.
Living a busy life can negatively impact intimacy. Spontaneous sex is often pushed back in well-established couples. If you find your sex life declining, schedule it in. Anticipating time with your partner will lead to delayed gratification and stronger libido.
9. Exercising For The Wrong Reasons
People who exercise because they fear getting fat are missing out on the fun!
Having a positive attitude is key to a healthy exercise routine. Feeling guilty about your weight leads to circular thinking: eat too much, exercise too much, repeat.
Being healthy should feel good. Moving your body releases endorphins, the “happy hormone”. If you exercise too hard or have a negative attitude while working out, you won’t feel the pleasure you should.
10. Being Too Serious
Yes, some things in life are serious, but that doesn’t mean everything should be taken seriously.
Smile lines are way better than frown lines, so laugh it off! You should let go of wanting to control everything in your life. Sometimes you need to just let go and see the humour in your challenges.
Optimism is key to a long life. Everything eventually blows over, and, chances are, you won’t remember what’s upsetting you once it’s past.