Crave Magazine

5 Tips to help you overcome the fear of getting older

fear of getting older

Are you anxious about ageing? According to a new survey of 2,000 women over 30 by the face yoga app Luvly56% of women worry about getting older, and 36% fear losing their attractiveness. In fact, nearly half (41%) admit that fear of aging affects their mental health, with 1 in 7 having anxiety issues and 1 out of 8 —  depressive episodes.

In time for Mental Health Awareness Month, observed in May, I bring you an advice piece idea on how to cope with stress caused by ageing

According to Walter Gjergja, a 32nd-generation Shaolin monk, mindfulness expert and co-founder of the personal trainer app Zing Coach, prolonged stress is highly damaging to our health and longevity, harming everything from our immune system and gut microbiome to telomere length and the chemical structure of our DNA. “Worrying constantly about the inevitable, such as ageing, typically triggers a passive hyper-response, which commonly leads to ‘analysis paralysis’. We spend all our energy thinking, worrying, checking, stressing, and depressing. But that won’t stop the clock. In fact, the more you worry, the more your stress levels rise and the faster your body ages. However, eating well, exercising regularly, getting plenty of sleep, and staying busy will keep the stress at bay — and your body healthier for longer.” — explained Walter.

5 tips to help you overcome the fear of getting older
Walter Gjergja shared his 5 essential tips to tame the fear of getting older.

“Acceptance should not be fatalistic but actionable,” — says Gjergja. “Ageing is inevitable, so don’t worry about it — but don’t roll over and accept defeat. Spend your time and energy adapting your lifestyle to stave off its effects instead.”

According to Gjergja, exercise is particularly effective against ageing, as It has been shown to drastically reduce stress, alleviate depression and anxiety, boost our energy levels, and improve our mood. “At the same time, it has all kinds of physiological benefits, from reducing sarcopenia and osteoporosis — muscle loss and bone degradation — to improving cardiorespiratory and neurological function. Last but not least, it can improve our appearance and literally make us look and feel younger. Combined, all these benefits can drastically slow down the effects of ageing.” 

“Don’t underestimate a nutritious meal’s ability to counteract the signs of ageing,” — warns Gjergja. “A healthy diet of fruit, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats is packed full of longevity-boosting essential nutrients. The antioxidants commonly found in fruit and veg, for instance, can combat the oxidative stress and inflammation that growing older brings. Protein can preserve muscle tone and functional strength. Paired with plenty of water, you can keep your body looking, feeling, and functioning at its very best.”

“Practicing mindfulness techniques, such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, yoga or tai chi, can offer a reprieve from the stress and anxiety of ageing,” says Gjergja. “Learn to let go of the negative thoughts and encourage yourself to embrace growing older with grace and resilience. Helping you to stay present in the moment and cultivate a more positive outlook on life, you will find yourself worrying about the future less and less.”

“Age is just a number — so don’t let it stop you from living. Seek the company and support of your friends, family, or community and activity groups, get out there and enjoy yourself, which will provide you with a sense of belonging and purpose for many years to come. Engaging in meaningful relationships and activities that give you purpose, meaning, and of course, fun and well-being helps to keep away the feelings of isolation and lack of direction that often accompany ageing. Simply by engaging with life surrounded by good company, you can feel the youthful enthusiasm and joy of life forever, regardless of age,” — added Walter.

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