I don’t think I have ever considered ageing to be a difficult and unglamorous aspect of life. Perhaps, it’s because I can’t recall ever hearing my mom or numerous unrelated ‘aunties’ speak of anti-ageing creams, under eye injections or brow lifts. I always accepted it as a simple progression of life.
Europe has an unreal obsession with youth and it was not until I came to France that I realized how silly and taxing it can be to constantly be on the lookout for ways to delay the visible signs of ageing. The advertising presents ageing as a beauty defect that develops and as a much grander problem which surpasses a five-minute, at-home fix like colouring your greys.
The obsession with looking young at home, while it has not reached the extent of that in West, is bigger now because of the bombardment of digital content. But even so, I don’t think most people see it as a problem they have to fix and spend millions of dollars doing so.
The one issue with me contributing any sort of money to the US$200 billion anti-ageing market, however, is the expensive gamble. Some products have relatively temporary roles if any at all and come with a hefty price tag. I recently saw a face cream by Natura Bisse called Diamond Life Infusion, commonly referred to as a facelift in a bottle, retailing at US$740. Imagine buying that and it doesn’t work!
Ageing is inevitable and while the advertisements are tempting with their inflated prices, I never believed products should be seen as miracles for the age distressed. In other words, an exhausted work/life balance and bad eating habits can’t be rescued by some supposed miracle cream and if so it definitely won’t last forever. Ageing is inescapable. I have put together a list of habits you should probably alter to create your own anti-ageing ‘miracle’.
Smart phones – an unhealthy habit
According to research done by Lin & Zhou et al, 2012, our dependence on the internet can cause structural and functional changes in the brain regions which in turn challenges our emotional processing, decision-making and cognitive control. Most of us can barely survive 15 minutes without refreshing our social media apps to keep abreast of the latest news. The craving for content, whether useful or useless, becomes a non-deciding factor and therefore turning itself into an addiction. Try to monitor yourself, perhaps take a gadget break. I am pretty sure you will be able to see a difference in your way of thinking and your anxiousness to be in the know will reduce. If anything, it will take the toll off your eyes for a while.
Alcohol consumption in large portions, as satisfying to our recreational habits as it may be, is bad for you. It causes dehydration and can disrupt your sleep quality. Sleep is the most underrated power tool to recharge the body in its entirety. It is only with age that we realize that the body is like a machine and like any machine it needs servicing time to function properly
Stress in unavoidable. Constant stress is however taxing on the mind and body which could affect sleep and appetite. Yoga is an ideal solution and a form of meditation coupled with exercise. While not accessible to everyone, personal space and reflection time is soothing for the mind and body. I remember having a reflection day at Marian Academy every term and recall always leaving recharged and relaxed. According to ‘The underlying anatomical correlates of long-term meditation: Larger hippocampal and frontal volumes of gray matter’, a research paper by Eileen Luders, Arthur W. Toga et al, “meditation increases grey matter and emotion regulation. It helps you to manage your feelings even if stress is present.”
These are just a few ways that ageing can be delayed without breaking the bank and gambling with expensive products that may or may not do the job. The saying ‘feel better, look better’ is really true in its entirety.