The Psychological Impact of the Term Anti-Aging
The term “Anti-Aging” is a rushed irony. The young generation wishes to grow old to get rid of restrictions. Later they use expensive products to get rid of the signs of aging and miss their more youthful days.
But aging is real, and it is completely natural. However, based on our minds, we age differently. Let’s understand how.
What Is Aging?
Dictionary has two very different definitions, one is simply growing old, and the other is; acquiring a desirable quality such as mellowness or maturity by standing undisturbed for some time.
But undisturbed we are not, and while standing in today’s challenging times, I am forced to admit and admire the positive effects of being disturbed. Yes, you heard me right. Disturbance, a crisis, does put us under stress that may add years to our appearance but also adds awareness, alertness, and experience to our life.
A well-known adage we like to reiterate as we grow old is ‘age is but a number,’ it sure is comforting, yet today the word anti-aging engulfs us in more ways than one.
Anti-aging: Is It Just Skin Dip/ Deep?
Anti-aging; is a term that is bound to remind you of age-defying cream, lotions, and other concoctions. To infer anti-aging, one must understand physiological aging. So let’s delve a little deeper. It has been scientifically established that telomeres act as the aging biological clock of the cells in our body. What are telomeres?
It is the natural end of a eukaryotic chromosome composed of a usually repetitive DNA sequence and serves to stabilize the chromosome. Now that’s a lot of scientific jargon so let’s try and simplify it. It is the very last part of the DNA at the end of a chromosome. It prevents the chromosome from further degeneration or coupling with other chromosomes; in brief, they are like disposable cushions that protect the end of chromosomes.
Now longer telomeres attribute to longer life while the shorter ones lead to age-related diseases like cancer, heart disease, arthritis, etc. More importantly, telomerase is an enzyme that can actually prevent telomere attrition and thus keep us looking and feeling younger.
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Looking Good and Feeling Young
Looking young or feeling young that’s not an easy choice to make. Most of us choose the former, not because it’s easier as it is not always simple or painless. But because we spend our lives asking for validation from others. Ergo it is probable that the impact of the term anti-aging is more psychological than real. Except for the fact that “aging is indeed real.”
Hence I have to infer that anti-aging is real, too but only to an extent. Man has always chased immortality through centuries, most want to outlive their life span, and very few succeed. Today it is not just about the grey hairs or the wrinkles; we want to stay lean and be active. Looking younger is no longer a thing for the fairer sex or a monopoly for celebrities. From world leaders to business magnates, all are mindful of their image.
Body image, fitness, and personality form a big part of what or who we represent. We have come a long way from endorsing brands to becoming one. On social media, one and all want to put the best version of themselves. So it is difficult to turn a blind eye towards the host of anti-aging products, risky procedures to look young, and practice routines that keep us looking young and feeling good.
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Body, Mind, Soul
If only aging were about our bodies growing old and frail. Unfortunately, it is also about our minds growing finer and sharper with time. We seem to be trapped between appreciating the growth of our minds, growth in our status, and a desire to reverse our age. It is a peculiar paradox.
It reminds me of an old film called ‘Death becomes her’, a dark comedy starring Bruce Willis, Meryl Streep, and Goldie Hawn. The film provokes you to wonder if mortality is a blessing or a curse? Is life all about the periphery of the core? Do we need to succumb to the pressures of looking young when there are so many more social pressures to deal with?
More importantly, what do lines like ‘young at heart’ and ‘aging with grace’ mean in today’s anti-aging times, or have they lost their purport. The bottom line is you feel young when you are happy with your achievements, your surrounding ambiance, and the special people in your life, but most of all when you are happy and satisfied with yourself.
Balance Is the Way To Go
Like any other stuff that is a part of our life, anti-aging must not be taken too seriously because it can hamper our style, life, energy, and lifestyle. Growth is a constant process; the consequence can be noxious.
As the saying goes, “change is constant,” and accepting change is the wise man’s way. Moreover, aging can never defy; we can only delay the signs of aging.
A healthy lifestyle is in vogue for a while now. A proper diet with plenty of water and optimum exercise and mindfulness is advised for well-being. It also helps towards making you feel young. Add on some good laugh, a good sense of humor, and a dash of confidence. You are ready to revisit your youth.
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