Age Mindfully

Mindful Living Network, Mindful Living, Dr. Kathleen Hall, The Stress Institute, OurMLN.com, MLN, Alter Your Life

We all get older, but sometimes our lifestyle choices can lead us to age prematurely. Fortunately, there are a few Mindful steps you can take to end your premature aging.

Everyone desires to age gracefully, but it isn’t always easy. The range of anti-aging products continues to expand as more and more people search for a solution, whether it’s a skin cream, supplements, gadgets, or services. In fact, the global anti-aging market is presently valued at $122.3 billion and is expected to reach $191.7 billion by 2019. Though a lot of money goes into this market, not all of the products are guaranteed to work. Some of the most popular anti-aging treatments are not even regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. Fortunately, you can age gracefully and prevent premature aging simply by taking the right, mindful steps.

Here are a few of factors of premature aging to be mindful of: 

Too much sugar

 Everyone knows that too much sugar is bad for your overall health, but few realize that a sugary diet can lead to premature aging. High blood sugar levels can lead to glycation, in which harmful new molecules, called advanced glycation end products (AGEs), are formed. These molecules damage the skin’s collagen and elastin, which helps keep skin firm. Thus too much sugar can lead to premature wrinkles.

Smoking

 Smoking can lead to many health problems including lung cancer; it kills more than five million people each year. It can also accelerate aging. The nicotine in cigarettes stain teeth, nicotine withdrawal at night can lead to insomnia, and the toxic chemicals can also cause hair damage. All of these symptoms can age your body and cause a noticeable difference in your appearance. In an identical twin study that measured the visual impact of smoking, participants could easily decipher which twin smoked just by glancing at pictures. This is because the smoking twins had aged more than their non-smoking siblings.

Stress

 Beware of stress as it can prematurely age your entire body. As you stress your levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) rises it can lead to memory loss and a decrease in cognitive functioning, which can contribute to dementia. High stress levels can also lead to shrinkage of your brain’s gray matter. This can prematurely age your eyes and ears, leading to vision and hearing problems. Overtime high cortisol levels can hinder your osteoblast cells from generating new bone tissue. This can reduce bone density and lead to osteoporosis.

Bonus

Not sure that you’re aging prematurely? Some common signs include constant red eyes (which can be a sign of inflammation/arthritis), loss of smell (an early warning sign of Parkinson’s disease), and hearing loss (a sign of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease). Interested in learning more about the signs of premature aging? Read more helpful tips from Dr. Oz: here.