With the anti-aging industry raking billions every year, powerful manufacturing companies dominating the global beauty products market, and celebrities on the cover of magazines looking slimmer, more beautiful and younger and younger, one wonders… are expensive creams, cosmetic surgery and other extreme beauty procedures the only way to win the race against time?
With my thirty fifth birthday just gone, friends and clients are often shocked when I say I have never used any anti aging products, or even had a facial! When I get asked what I do to defy the aging process and my answer tends to surprise people too.
The things I do to ensure I stay young inside and out has nothing to do with defiance and everything to do with health. These are my tips on how you can look and feel young naturally, and without breaking the bank or resorting to torturous methods:
1/ ELIMINATE NEGATIVE SELF-TALK: Self-talk has been shown in research by medical and communication professionals to affect health states. Every time you send a negative thought through your mind you get to feel bad. Every time you feel bad toxic chemicals are released in your brain and travel throughout your body. This causes bad health. And bad health causes premature aging.
So, if you want to live longer, feel healthier and look younger, it’s a good idea to shut down those crappy thoughts and start to feed your mind more useful thoughts that make you feel better more of the time. This is where Richard Bandler’s (creator of NLP) infamous STFU mantra comes in handy. Just tell yourself to shut up!
2/ MINIMISE STRESS: Dr. Elissa Epel headed a stress study, at the University of California, San Francisco about 5 years ago. For the first time, research shows that stress speeds the aging process by harming DNA.
Did you ever know someone under so much stress they aged right before your eyes? It seems to happen to presidents after a term or two, and maybe you’ve noticed something similar in your own mirror.
But there’s a silver lining: We can offset the impact of stress. As Brian Colbert, author of The Happiness Habit, says, if you are going to worry, worry constructively.
Start by asking yourself more useful questions such as: what is the most useful thing to do right now? What do I want to happen now? What has to happen for that to happen? What can I do right now to start to feel better and more relaxed? Useful questions lead to useful answers.
3/ FALL IN LOVE: True health starts with acceptance and love for oneself. If you are not happy with yourself or your life right now, it’s important that you appreciate the bits you do like, identify the bits you want to improve on, and do something about it.
As Owen Fitzpatrick, author of Not Enough Hours, says, you are not what you do, you are everything you can become at your very best. So, it’s useful to always keep improving yourself so that you can love yourself more and become the person you want to be.
If you are lucky enough to feel connected to other people, feel respected and valued by other people, and have a sense of belonging, then you may have more than a lot of people in the world. So, one of the keys to staying young is to appreciate and love yourself and life!
4/ LAUGH YOUR WRINKLES AWAY: I’ve heard some celebrities avoid smiling in an attempt to keep wrinkles at bay. In fact, there is evidence to the opposite being true!
Laughter boosts your immune system, decreases pain, relaxes your muscles, and prevents heart disease. A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, adds joy and zest to life, eases anxiety and fear, improves mood and enhances resilience. Laughter strengthens relationships, and also makes us more attractive to others!
My tips for a younger more beautiful looking you: watch a funny movie or TV show, go to a comedy club, hang out with funny people, share a good joke or a funny story, host game night with friends, take a laughter yoga class, do something silly for no reason!
5/ LIFT WEIGHTS: I remember watching a program where Oprah went looking for the oldest people in the world in an attempt to discover the secrets to their longevity and good health. From America to Europe to Asia, all of them shared a common denominator: they all stayed extremely active.
I clearly remember this centenarian American woman saying she lifted weights every day. And they were not 2lb dumbbells!
Weight training enhances bone and muscle strength, tones up your body and speeds up your metabolism. It also improves balance and co-ordination, burns a whole lot of calories, and it’s been proven to boost your self confidence! All essential ingredients for a young and vibrant body and mind.
6/ EAT WHAT YOU ARE GENETICALLY PROGRAMMED TO EAT: I’ve been lucky to meet Phil Richards, world renowned nutritionist, who works with top Olympic athletes and well known celebrities. I’ve attended his health seminars, had my blood examined by him and picked his brains to no end.
It seems that the reason why we are getting older faster is because we are not eating the foods we are genetically programmed to eat. Apparently, since the caveman era, even though we have technologically evolved to amazing lengths, our digestive system has only evolved about 1.5%!
Phil advices we stick to a diet of clean water, vegetables, nuts, berries, seeds, and protein in the form of good quality eggs, fish and lean meats. Keep it fresh, seasonal and unprocessed, and eat most of your food raw.
7/ QUIT RUBBING CHEMICALS ON YOUR SKIN: Have you ever examined the ingredients list on your regular skin care products? Most of the skin care products that you buy contain harmful chemicals. These chemicals not only harm your skin, they can also have very bad impact on your health.
Most of the ingredients used in skin care products are petroleum by-products and also explosive solvents, carcinogens that can affect your long-term health. They are mainly used by many cosmetic industries because they are cheap and can be easily stored in shelves for many days.
Stay young by avoiding chemicals such as: mineral oil, sodium lauryl sulphate, paraben preservatives, talc, lanolin, artificial fragrances, polyethylene glycol, phenol… Stick to natural face and body products that are made with few ingredients that you can pronounce and understand.
Follow these tips and notice how much more revitalised you feel as you free your beautiful and youthful self!