Guest blog by Debbie E. Mandel
Author of Turn On Your Inner Light: Fitness for Body, Mind and Soul
Watch her interview on The Woman's Connection YouTube Vlog
The generation who didn't trust anyone over thirty is now aging. As a result, botox, collagen, face-lifts and liposuction procedures are ubiquitous and thriving-as common as Tupperware parties. Cosmetics companies market a vast array of anti-aging products. Anti-aging sounds as negative as: don't trust anyone over the age of thirty. Perhaps these same products could be relabeled as rejuvenating, or youth enhancing. No one over forty, the consumers most likely to use these products, is going to adopt the slogan of anti-aging! In any case, there are better, healthier and happier ways to reverse the negative effects of aging and they are free!
Come out into the light! Not midday sunlight which etches lines and wrinkles, but your own inner light. Live more joyfully by cultivating a positive eye for life. Whatever happens to you, no matter how painful or dark, there is always the dual side, the companion which is the power of your perception: illness is a companion to wellness; suffering is a companion to happiness; in other words, everything that has a front also has a back. By merging the two we create a complete whole. Working at being happy, putting both your mind and body into it will help you to think, affirm and ultimately implement. Happiness radiates throughout the body making you less prone to disease. Laughter activates the immune system. Conversely, depression makes you more prone to cancer, infection, osteoporosis, heart disease, etc. Nothing ages a person more than sadness. You trudge around stooped shoulders, your eyes to the ground. You are fatigued as your energy levels are weighted down by your mood. Your eyes have lost their sparkle, to say nothing of your libido!
However, when you make up your mind and body to be happy, by beginning with a smile, you release serotonin in your brain. You feel capable of possibilities and your face begins to lighten. A smile immediately makes you look more attractive and others respond to your smile.
Next, look in the mirror and take inventory of what you see. Like Michelangelo, keep what you like and get rid of the excess. Eat a balanced diet. Get rid of sugar and white processed foods. They are inflammatory. Watch your skin take on a healthy glow along with hair and nails when you follow a diet rich with Omega 3s. Drink plenty of water to flush out the toxins and moisten your skin. Avoid stimulants that keep you up at night. Getting your beauty sleep is more than a time-honored cliché. At night our cells regenerate. You want that well-rested look that takes years off the face as opposed to a pinched look of tension.
As you work your way down a full-length mirror, you may notice that you need a bit of exercise to combat the force of gravity and carve away the excess baggage that adds weight to the knees and makes your heart work harder. The most effective way to reverse the aging process is exercise: strength training, cardio and flexibility. As a result of exercise, our biological age is reversed. Strength training drives glucose into the tissues to keep insulin levels steady and drives glucose into the brain to keep the mind in focus. We stand up straighter and improve balance through core stability. Exercise is a great energy booster because it relieves stress by ridding the body of stress hormones. Put the spring back into your step and increase libido with exercise-induced higher testosterone levels in both males and females. (Testosterone increases libido for both sexes.) By the way sex provides a glowing skin treatment!
In addition to exercise, the following mind/body prescriptions will help you to reduce stress in your life to be the best that you can be. No one can live stress-free, but it is important to learn how to de-compress quickly. Reinterpret a stressful situation with love and forgiveness, or objectify it with humor. Don't take yourself so seriously. Begin to develop a comic eye. Another great stress-reducer and wrinkle smoother is meditation. Breathe deeply and close your eyes. Detach from the negativity. Watch your cares float away on clouds. Don't judge your thoughts or worries. Just let them float by you as you rise above them seeing them from a distance growing smaller. Then attach to the spirituality and light within. Tap into your own personal glowing energy. Return to your surroundings when you are ready. You feel at ease and as relaxed as though you have been away on vacation.
So, throw away the genie in the bottle that deceptively promises you a great body without any exercise. Throw away the cosmetics that use twenty-year old models to demonstrate their anti-aging products! Instead use simple moisturizers and sun blocks. Live your true, authentic life. Become ignited with creativity. Nothing deadens the heart and soul like routine. Go ahead and stir your coffee backwards, or change your seat at the kitchen table.
Instead of looking in the mirror and asking: "Mirror, mirror, on the wall who is the fairest of them all?" See yourself benevolently reflected in someone else's eyes as you do volunteer work or perform a kind deed without telling the whole world about it.