When most people are questioned about their thoughts on aging, the consensus is almost always the same: there are some serious downsides.

It’s hard to argue the point.  The older we get, the more birthdays we celebrate, the more our perception of aging changes.  

When you’re a child, you can’t wait for your birthday.  You might even add the months when questioned about how old you are.  As kids, we’re in such a hurry to get older, to get on with it.

Then you reach a certain milestone – maybe it’s your thirtieth birthday, your fortieth, or your sixtieth – when you decide enough is enough.  You’re sick and tired of getting another year older so no more birthdays, thank you very much!

Wouldn’t it be nice if there were a way to turn back the clock, or just slow it down?

The solution may be not be in the form of a wonder drug or some scientific breakthrough, but simply a matter of perspective.  A way of looking at things that can actually change your life.

It wasn’t that long ago that “age roles” were as set in stone as gender roles.  Your teens were for school. The twenties were for college and establishing a career and marriage.  By your thirties, you “supposed to be” be raising a family. By the time we hit our sixties, it was time for us to start thinking about retirement.

We followed these guidelines because that was how it was done – how everyone we knew did it.  There was a script to be followed.

This may have worked for our grandparents, maybe even our parents if they were lucky, but with the economics of our modern world, many can’t afford to retire in their sixties anymore.

There’s good news.

Thanks to advances in science and better health and nutrition, many people in their sixties, seventies, and even eighties aren’t ready to give up the life they’ve always known to quietly live out their days.

It’s not simply a matter of their bodies being in better physical condition.  In their minds, they don’t feel like the feeble geriatrics society often expects them to be.

Scientists discovered a distinct connection between aging and mental health.  Understanding the balance between the two can help you control your thoughts on aging and keep you young at heart, if not in body, for the rest of your life.

It’s shockingly easy…but effective.

We will all grow old and be forced to deal with what the passing of time does to our bodies.  However, how we prepare for aging has a great deal to do with what its affects will be.

Regular exercise, good nutrition, and healthy meals help keep your body fit and functioning – even if you start good habits later in life.  You don’t have to be a bodybuilder! A normal exercise routine, enough to keep you in shape, is enough.

Think of your body as a car.  If you want it to be a classic, looking shiny decades from now, you need to do regular maintenance.

The rest is state of mind – your thoughts on aging – and your soul-deep understanding that age truly is just a number.  

There are people in their twenties who drag themselves to work, through their daily lives, unable to see past the pure drudgery they surround themselves with.  The younger generations often feel “ill” and take more medication for random problems than our grandparents took in their old age.

Yet there are other people in their seventies or eighties – perhaps dealing with chronic diseases such as diabetes or heart problems – who still go about every day with a spring in their step.  They are happy with life and the world around them.

They are living every moment to the fullest and making a choice to enjoy it.

You know how old you are.  Many people have lists of things they would like to do but might think it is too late.  They might believe that the time to experience new things or places is for the young and their chance has passed them by.  

Why should age matter?

Imagine yourself at eighty.  Are you smiling, laughing, and ready to meet each new day with anticipation?  Do you have friends and hobbies? Are you keeping your mind sharp?

If that is not how you picture yourself in your elderly years – this is your chance to make a change.  Choose the road to a youthful future by changing your thoughts on aging.  

Embracing each new day as part of a grand adventure affects your mental health.  Your state of mind directly impacts your physical well-being as well.  

Thinking about getting older may seem daunting at first, but it doesn’t have to be that way.  Life isn’t less simply because we age.  It is what we make it. Imagine laughing at a joke your great-grandchild tells you.  

Getting older sounds better already, doesn’t it?