We all know that ageing is a natural part of life, but it doesn’t have to be the bane of your existence. No matter where you are in your life, it’s essential to figure out how you can age with grace before the process starts.
There are many things that we’re not told about ageing that could potentially change our outlook on the process. From slowing down cognitively to having more difficulties with hearing, there is much more happening in our bodies as we age than most people realise.
So, how do you age gracefully?
Ageing gracefully isn’t just about looking good
When people think about ageing gracefully, they usually only focus on the physical ageing transformation. But you should take care of your body even if it doesn’t look like you’re ageing at all.
The truth is that many things happen to our bodies as we age — and not everything is visible. For example, cognitively, it becomes harder for us to keep up with tasks that require a lot of thinking or concentration. This means that our brain function slows down. Additionally, because our eyesight deteriorates, our reaction times become slower.
Understanding cognitive decline
A common misconception about ageing is that you will just get more forgetful. However, cognitive decline is actually a much more complicated process than many people realise.
With age, your brain’s processing speed slows down, and you become less able to multitask. Your ability to focus on new information decreases. And your brain becomes less efficient at storing information. This can all lead to forgetting things or even misremembering when it comes to events in the past. These are all to be expected when it comes to ageing, but there are ways you can help improve your memory without relying on medication or supplements.
For example, challenging mental tasks like learning new information, solving puzzles or playing games can help stave off cognitive decline. Also, learning a new language has been shown to slow the onset of dementia by six years (source: Dementia UK). A few other methods for improving cognition include getting enough sleep and exercise. Check out our blog post on things that are bad for your brain so you know what to avoid.
The role of hearing loss in ageing
It’s a fact that as we age, our hearing declines. We may not notice this happening at first, but it is a gradual process. It can affect your ability to engage in conversation and to hear warning signals such as a car’s honk or fire alarm.
Once you reach middle age, there is usually a noticeable difference in your hearing capabilities. This is due to many factors, including changes in nerve and hair cells in the inner ear. Over time, these hair cells lose their sensitivity and diminish in number, leading to hearing loss or tinnitus.
Hearing aids are an option for those experiencing mild to moderate hearing loss. They are often fitted with technology that helps them pick up on background noises, so you aren’t missing out on important conversations nearby.
Managing conditions help us accept ageing
As we get older, many things change. And that means areas of our health decline. Some of which we’ve touched on so far in this article.
It can be difficult to accept those changes. But the more we fight against them, the more problems they will cause us. A lot of ageing gracefully is about being honest with ourselves about the changes in our body. For example, if our mobility changes, it’s time to look for a new way of doing things. Rather than pushing our bodies to work in a way that they can’t any longer.
Getting older means that new health conditions come into the mix. And whether that’s dementia or sleep apnea, the way we tackle them is the same. With an open mind, kindness to ourselves, and an acceptance of help where we need it.
It may be that you now rely on a device to help you dose off with your sleep apnea. And that’s ok. It will become your new normal. Though it’s essential to stay aware that some devices might not work as intended. And if you have a defective medical device like a CPAP machine for your sleep apnea, you should contact trusted advisors like rosenfeldinjurylawyers.com. Because you don’t have to accept everything that goes wrong!
Exercise is the key to ageing gracefully
Exercise is a crucial part of ageing gracefully. Regular exercise has been shown to reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and even Alzheimer’s. Exercise also helps with mental functioning and emotional balance.
One study found that people who exercised regularly scored higher on brain function tests than those who didn’t exercise at all. However, it is important to note that people who exercised but had a sedentary lifestyle scored lower on these tests than those with an active lifestyle.
Bottom line: If you want to age gracefully, make sure you’re exercising regularly.
Your future self will thank you for taking care of what you have now. Ageing is a natural process, but many things can make it easier to do it gracefully.
If you’ve been feeling anxious about the process of ageing, you’re not alone! We all go through these changes, and we all come out the other side just fine. The goal isn’t to stop ageing or fight it. Instead, it’s to help ourselves maintain a healthy mindset while going through it and living a happy life. You could even practice visualization exercises to calm any anxieties you have about getting older.