If you were given the freedom to choose how long you live, what would be the number? Well, if your guess is as good as anyone’s, most people would say anything from 80 to 100 years. A few would fancy immortality, but, unfortunately, that’s not how the universe works, plus aging is inevitable for human life! After all, even the stars (like our sun) and galaxies have a lifespan limit themselves.
Forgive the seemingly long intro, but did you know that your mental health can affect how fast you age– or how old you look? Yes – aging has a huge impact on one’s mental health as well.
In this piece, we’ll look at how aging impacts your mental wellness, as well as, how mental health affects your physical aging.
How Old Age Affects Your Mental Wellness
A lot of changes take place in the human body as one gets older. Everything seems to become more vulnerable to the ravages of time, including your mental wellness.
At some point, you may start experiencing mental and cognitive decline symptoms like reduced memory problems, disorientation, confusion, mood issues, and decreased creativity. Anxiety can become a frequent problem, and your appetite may take a dip.
Older people also tend to have a reduced ability to respond to stressors and low motivation for physical activity or socializing.
These symptoms can be contributed to or alleviated by things like:
- Loneliness and isolation
- Grief and loss over the years
- Disease, aches, and pains in old age
How Older People Can Boost Mental Health
In old age, however, there are a few effortless ways to help improve mental wellness, as well as, the symptoms of physical aging. For instance, you can go out there and socialize, get a pet, start a new hobby, and get a healthy dose of sleep each night.
You can also consider talking to your doctor about a safe exercise routine, meditating regularly, and sticking to a healthy diet. Sometimes getting anti-aging treatment for your physical aging can have a positive impact on your mental health.
Aromatherapy has also proved instrumental in helping seniors cope with old age issues. Get some scented candles or go out there in nature.
Whether it’s a garden or your living room, spending time around colorful sweet-smelling flowers can help to ward off stress and free the mind from anxiety. If you don’t feel like going out, you can even have flowers delivered the next day to your house via the web.
How Your Mental Wellbeing Affects Aging
If there’s one thing you can predict about old age, it’s that it’s less about how much you age, and more about how well you age. Age is a state of mind, and when your mental wellness isn’t on point, you’re bound to age prematurely, or at least that’s what most people assume.
Based on most studies, you’re more likely to age faster if you’re constantly stressed, depressed, or have anxiety issues.
Stress and anxiety
One of the factors that take a toll on aging is stress and anxiety. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, stress is a huge risk factor for disease, not just mental health issues; but also cardiovascular disease and cancer. Finding ways to curb stress and anxiety can help prevent premature physical aging.
Self-confidence and self-esteem
While poor mental wellness is a risk factor for chronic illness, one may also have higher chances of suffering from self-esteem issues. Self-esteem issues may affect your social life, motivation for physical activity, and even your diet. Ultimately, you may end up aging faster than you should.
Thankfully, this can be rectified by addressing the root cause of your self-confidence problems. It may be as easy as visiting the doctor for teeth whitening, or as hard as accepting a mental or physical congenital disorder.
Depression isn’t just a mood condition; it can also take a toll on your overall well-being. In fact, research has shown that depression affects how fast your body ages. When depressed, you’re more likely to develop symptoms of aging such as frown lines, wrinkles, and even stretch marks.
To conclude, physical aging and mental wellness impact each other in various ways. The more time you spend on your mental wellness, the better off you’ll be with your body in later years.
As you grow older, you’ll likely become less physically attractive, even if your mind is the same. So, keeping up with some mental wellness and physical exercises could help keep your mind strong and healthy, even in your golden years.