Creative Eldering: Youthing
~By Susan L. Levy, D.C ~
While writing my book, Your Aging Body Can Talk, I coined the term “youthing.” Youthing is the conscious process of figuratively regressing in age for healthful purposes such as memory enhancement, physical vitality, and emotional health. It implies the opposite of aging. We can adopt this positive approach to life in order to assist us in maintaining flexibility in our bodies, thoughts, emotions, and habits in order to more easily coast through our elder years.
Practicing flexibility is one way we can embrace a youthing lifestyle. Staying physically active by practicing Tai Chi, Yoga, Essetrics®, or another form of physical movement helps our physical bodies maintain their flexibility throughout our elder years. We can increase our mental flexibility by reading, watching documentaries, and studying new subjects. Practicing meditation and mindfulness can increase our emotional flexibility.
Practicing mindfulness through meditation, prayer or focused attention is another step that can help us to be more present in each moment. Taking a few moments each day to sit quietly and clear our minds can assist us in quieting our mind’s chatter and help us relieve stress. We can also take time to sit quietly and reflect on all of the things we are grateful for. This helps remind us that our lives are filled with rich moments and our wealth of experiences can be used as inspiration to continue to be fully engaged with our lives.
By embracing positive thoughts and language, and consciously minimizing or eliminating negative ideology or beliefs, we are able to awaken each day with a positive outlook of self-acceptance, gratitude, and become “reborn” with renewed potential. Every day we can choose to adopt the positive outlook that our day will bring a bright horizon of great potential rather than lamenting on yesterday’s frustrations.
Finally, we can creatively use our consciousness to talk to our bodies. By using visual imagery, affirmations and focused meditations, we can positively influence our well-being and actively practice youthing measures. I devised a Youthing Meditation, found on pages 187 through 190 in my book, Your Aging Body Can Talk. This meditation involves focusing on specific areas in our bodies in order to help them function in the healthiest and best ways possible. We can begin this meditation by choosing a time in our lives when we felt healthiest and strongest. After we have this image securely held in our minds, we can allow the feeling of wellness to envelop our entire body. Next, we can move to specific areas of our bodies, focusing on specific joints or organs as we remind these areas to remember and restore function to the optimal time that we designated at the beginning of this meditation.
Practicing positivity in all areas of our lives, including nutrition choices, exercise and movement activities, and our thoughts and language, can actively increase a youthing lifestyle and promote greater health and longevity.