Reversing The Aging Process
What is aging? To beginning reversing the aging process, we must first understand what aging is. A researcher named Vaillant concluded that the aging process is learned. He claimed that people who are in good health teach their bodies to age well and that people who are unhappy teach their body to age badly.
At age 70 no two bodies are alike
Do all 70 year olds have the same age? When a person is 20 years old, his/her body may look like most 20 year olds, but by the time a person reaches age 70, no two bodies are alike, since our experiences are unique.
Three measurements of age
According to Dr. Deepak Chopra, author of Ageless Body Timeless Mind, a person's age depends on three different ages: chronological, biological and psychological. Chronological age is measured by the calendar. Biological age is a measurement of how organs and tissues have aged over time. In other words, biological age tells us how our body has actually aged. Psychological age which tells us how old we fee is how old we are, is more personal.
Out of the three measurements, chronological age is the most unreliable measurement of age. An example is where a 50 year old person is almost as healthy as when he was 25 years old, whereas another 50 year old may have the body and health of a 60 year old or even a 70 year old.
They felt old and thus became old
According to Dr. Chopra, biological age tells us how old we really are, as over time, our organs and tissues ages differently as compared to people with your chronological age.
When it comes to reversing the aging process, psychological age is the most promising where each person feels different about themselves and how old they are. Anna Lundgren, 101 years old made a very important observation as a child which influenced how she aged for the next 90 years. She stated, "Back in Norway where I was a little girl, when people got to be 55 or 65, they just sat. I never felt old. I don't feel that old today."
Negative factors affecting age
Dr. Chopra named these negative factors which accelerate the aging process where an asterisk (*) indicates major factors: *Depression; Inability to express emotions; Feeling helpless to change oneself and others; Living alone; Loneliness, absence of close friends; *Lack of regular daily routine; *Lack of regular work routine; *Job dissatisfaction; Having to work more than 40 hours per week; Financial burdens, being in debt; Habitual or excessive worry; Regret for sacrifices made in the past; Irritability, getting angry easily, or being unable to express anger; Criticism of self and others;
Positive factors affecting age
Dr. Chopra named these positive factors which retard the aging process where asterisk(*) indicates major factors: *Happy marriage (or satisfying long-term relationship); *Job satisfaction: *Feeling or personal happiness; Ability to laugh easily; Satisfactory sex life; Ability to make and keep close friends; *Regular daily routine; *Regular work routine; Taking at least one week's vacation every year; Feeling in control of personal life; Enjoyable leisure time, satisfying hobbies; Ability to express feelings easily; Optimistic about the future; Feeling financially secure, living within means.
Depression and aging
Vaillant concluded that depression "often leads to premature aging, chronic illness, and early death.” There are studies where people suddenly become sick after a spouse died.
Stress and aging
Another observation was that "increased stress was often found in the lives of those who became chronically ill and died young. He claimed that “stress doesn't make people sick; giving up their inner adaptability to stress does.” In other words, some people may allow certain stressors (e.g a gossip or lies about them) to affect them in a negative way, such as becoming hurt or angry, whereas others would not allow these stressors to affect them, brushing them off and getting on with live.
The 70 year young man, living life
There was a couple on vacation in Spain where the man was 71 years young and his wife was 69 years young. This 71 year old man was active, lively and danced all night, outlasting people half his age. This man obviously has a zest for life and was doing youthful things in life. He obviously felt young as he was not sitting, complaining and doing nothing. He was living life in a zestful and youthful way and he did what was necessary to take care of himself, -as we all know, dancing is a form of exercising and relaxation.
The aging clock
During the days of the Roman Empire the average life expectancy was 28 years, whereas today the average life expectancy in America is 75 years and for Japanese women it's 82.5 years. As proven through history humans have the ability to keep improving and to live longer. According to some studies humans can live past 120 years.
Species such as the fish have an internal aging clock which is built into their DNA and could make them age overnight, leading to their death. According to researchers, human DNA may contain an aging clock, but unlike the fish, humans die at a wide age range and has the ability to improve and to live a longer and healthier life.
Renewal of the human body
Humans are the only creatures on this planet that has the ability to change our body through awareness.
Our body is constantly changing and within a year the body sheds 98% of its atoms replacing the old ones with new ones. By the end of a month, the skin is replaced. The liver gets replaced every six weeks and the skeleton every three months. According to Dr. Deepak Chopra, author of Ageless Body Timeless Mind, "you are only as old as the information that swirls through you, and this is very fortunate. Because humans are intelligent beings, we can tap into the unseen levels of the body's intelligence to bring about renewal and reverse the aging process."
The body deteriorates through unconditioned living
Most of us are not consciously aware of or don't pay attention to involuntary or automatic functions, such as the change in our blood pressure, breathing, body temperature, balancing, digestion and hormone regulation. These automatic processes deteriorate since we don't pay attention to them, causing our body to age. By becoming conscious of these functions we can start reducing the deterioration. It's been proven that these involuntary functions can be controlled through techniques such as meditation and yoga. (According to mind-body doctors and researchers, since these unconditioned functions can be influenced, then the aging process can be reversed.)
Changing our interpretations
By changing our interpretations, a change takes place where our physiology can be altered. The changes taking place can be positive or negative. An example of a negative change is our fear of aging may get transformed into aging itself, as fear brings on stress and depression. By believing we are old, we may automatically become old by showing the symptoms of old age. According to Dr. Chopra, "to escape this prison, we need to overturn the beliefs supported by fear. In place of the belief that your body decays with time, nurture the belief that your body is new at every moment. In place of the belief that your body is a mindless machine, nurture the belief that your body is infused with the deep intelligence of life, whose sole purpose is to sustain you. These new beliefs are not just nicer to live with; they are true-we experience the joy of life through our bodies, so it is only natural to believe that our bodies are not set against us but want what we want.”
Stress, depression, anxiety and aging
During situations when an event becomes stressful and the person cannot end their stress, his or her body administers a tiny dose of steroid poisoning. Repeated stress becomes a danger to you.
Once a person is under a stressful situation, it's hard to control that situation. Stress, depression and anxiety are factors that cause us to age where the body may develop diseases. Long term stress looks very much like growing old such as wasted muscles, ulcers, hypertension and diabetes. By eliminating stress, depression and anxiety, our body renews itself.
Prevention is very important to a healthy body. Techniques such as meditation can be used to release stress along with stored stress, such as anger and hurt that's buried deep in our memories, which gets triggered during stressful events.
It has been found that levels of cortisol and adrenaline are lower in people who meditate. Their coping ability also seems to be better and stronger than the average person. A person who does Transcendental Meditation (TM) experiences increase calmness and inner silence. During meditation the body goes into a deep relax state while the mind is still aware. Researchers of meditation have shown that meditators practicing TM showed that their biological age was being reversed. Research also shows that TM meditators visited the doctors and hospital half as much as the other groups that were being studied.
Through mind, body techniques, the body can be strengthened. Through the use of meditation and yoga you can learn to improve your breathing. Research has proven that heart patients can learn to lower their blood pressure through the practice of meditation.
To maintain a healthy body, the body requires various nutrients and minerals and when there is a deficiency, this could result in the lost of functions within the body where over time, the aging process is accelerated.
Centenarians maintain a constant weight through moderate eating habits and have a variety of food intakes. A healthy diet is very important where it is psychologically satisfying and also provides proper nutrients.
According to research, the least active people have the highest death rate. The equivalent of walking half-hour a day will give you most of the benefits of longevity where the aging process is reversed or slowed down. A bit of exercise everyday is much better than exercising once a week or on the weekend for a longer time.
Disclaimer: This article is based on publicly available information and is not meant to provide medical advice. Prior to embarking on a journey of reversing the aging process, seek the advice of a qualified person.)