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Positive Aging vs. Anti Aging

Positive Aging vs. Anti Aging

March 12, 2020

We are aging and there is no getting around it. Our bodies are made of cells, and cell death naturally occurs as we age.  We are born with strong, resilient bodies that, as the years advance, lose the ability to grow new cells. It is a perfectly natural and normal process that every human body must go through. Unfortunately, we are also surrounded by well-meaning messages that tell us aging is bad and we need to combat cell death by covering up the effects of growing older.

Although many are still searching, nobody has found the Fountain of Youth, yet. It is still impossible to delay, even slightly, the human aging process. The science behind anti-aging has come a long way to help people feel better but the truth is, we have not found any way to stop or reverse getting old.

You may have heard of some of the most popular anti-aging therapies such as Hormonal Therapies, Antioxidants, Caloric restriction or Stem Cell therapy. And although they have made a positive impact in the lives of some, they have not been able to stop the aging process. 

What would it look like if we decided to replace the phrase “anti-aging” with “positive aging”?  What if we decided to accept the aging process as a good thing and take full advantage of our golden years as a positive endeavor rather than a curse?

We would celebrate each birthday with joy.  Every year of life is a privilege not everyone is given. Birthdays are the perfect time to reflect and celebrate all the good that God has done in our lives so far and express gratitude for the precious time we have left.

We wouldn’t be embarrassed about our bodies. How many times have you seen an article telling you how you can get a, “bikini body”? Anti-aging messages can seem so normal that we don’t realize the message we’re receiving and telling ourselves is that our bodies aren’t good enough just as they are. According to Psalm 139: 13-16, our bodies are perfectly formed by God.  That includes how they will age. We are perfectly and wonderfully made, and His works are wonderful even with a few wrinkles and limitations.

We wouldn’t focus on our aches and pains.  Aging is a fascinating process that includes all kinds of unexpected changes. Some are not so positive and include pain, loss or grief. Aging positively would mean a change of conversation from the negative aspects of growing older to sharing the positive aspects like grandchildren, new friendships, exciting trips and activities, culinary adventures, hobbies, spiritual growth or answers to prayer. It doesn’t mean not sharing the challenges, but it does mean not making them the everyday focus in our conversations.

We would keep our brains creatively active. In a 2016 Forbes article, “Peishan Yang, a professor at National Taiwan University,” reported the results of the History Alive and Legacy Art Work programs that have served more than 60,000 older adults in her country. Participants who were involved in creative endeavors had lower rates of loneliness and depression, higher morale and improved hand dexterity. She found that the programs led to improved mood and confidence, better family relationships and in some cases even increased income.” Creativity can include a variety of activities such as art, music, crafts or hobbies.

We would make choices every day to improve life in the long-term. Every day gives us the opportunity to make a life we love. Making choices that set us up for aging in a positive environment is at the heart of positive aging. Unlike “resolutions”, we set up intentions to live the life we love and take the steps needed to get there. Positive aging is basically actively taking a positive view of aging as a healthy, normal part of life.  It means changing our mindset, no longer glorifying youth, but embracing the great things about getting older. Maturity is a beautiful thing and worthy of acceptance and honor. 

Many people have chosen CRISTA Senior Living as the place where they can live life in the long term with joy and activity.  To find out more about positive aging at CRISTA, watch this video to find out more and contact us today.