The natural effects of aging on your body and mind can affect your quality of life. Slowing metabolism and memory loss are just a couple of the realities that may affect you as you age. Fortunately, there are ways to help maintain your youthful quality of life.

What is aging?
Aging is a progressive failure of metabolic processes in the body. Since all of our cells and their functions are intertwined, our bodies start to deteriorate once the cells’ function start to decline. But slowing the process of aging isn’t as simple as doing one or even two things differently; it takes a multi-faceted approach to slow the aging process and gain our optimal health.

Lifestyle, nutrient intake and obesity
First and foremost, we need to establish a healthy foundation. As we age, this foundation becomes increasingly important to improving the health of our cells. Our cells are do-everything soldiers in our body. When we get hurt, our cells help us heal. When we get sick, our cells help us feel better. When we exercise, our cells help us recover.

But over time, our cells don’t work as hard. That’s just natural. But if you don’t treat your body right – eat the wrong foods, don’t exercise, have unhealthy habits like smoking – you are doing even more damage to your cells, which can accelerate the aging process.

Systematic approach to the endocrine system
What exactly is the endocrine system and why is it important for healthy aging? First, the endocrine system creates hormones in your body affecting metabolism, growth, development, tissue function and even mood. So it’s got a lot to do with a wide array of functions within your body.

Second, our hormone production decreases with aging, making it more difficult to repair and regulate body functions. And because hormone production is interactive, a drop in any one hormone may lead to an imbalance in many others, wreaking havoc on the entire endocrine system. Keeping the endocrine system healthy can help slow the aging process.

We age because our hormone production declines; our hormones don’t decline because we age.

See: What is Human Growth Hormone?

Age-related conditions
Sleeplessness. Diminished mental capacity. Joint and muscle pain. Decreased sexual desire. These are just some of the age-related conditions that we worry about facing as we get older. But there are all-natural ways to help slow the onset of all these conditions. We just have to start by looking at some labels.

  • Sleep: Some thing might not change when we get older – many of us keep hectic lifestyles and remain stressed throughout our lives. All of this affects how we sleep. But for older people, the relationship between sleep and aging becomes even more important. A lack of sleep takes a toll on our health. For those looking for more sleep, increasing the hormone melatonin could help sleep quality.
  • Mental Acuity: One of the most important aspects of our health is our mental capacity. Studies have shown that hormone levels, reflexes and memory neurotransmitters show slight decreases each year after we reach our middle aged years. It’s important to help enhance our cognitive function by inhibiting oxidative stress and maintaining healthy blood circulation to the brain.
  • Achy joints: more than 30 percent of adults experience joint pain, and the older we get, the more joint pain can affect us. Studies have shown that ingredients such as glucosamine, Pycnogenol and hyaluronic acid can help with flexibility, inflammation and fluidity for bone and joint health.
  • Libido: Menopause and decreased testosterone production are key reasons for a decrease in sex drive when we age. But fear, anxiety and depression about aging can also affect your sex drive. Nitric oxide capacity also decreases with age, which plays a role in sexual performance. Supplementing with products designed to increase testosterone and estrogen, as well as increasing nitric oxide capacity, might help improve sexual desire.

Anti-aging doesn’t start when you’re retired. We have to start young to stay young. By understanding what causes our bodies to decline with age, we can begin a regimen to prevent it from starting too soon. That way, we can find the Fountain of Youth within ourselves.

Stop Hiding.

By: Amy Blaschka

I have a confession to make: this time of year has always been a low point for me. 

While everyone else was busy making resolutions, I'd be in a funk, wallowing in What am I going to do with my life? misery, questioning my purpose and existence.

Heavy, I know. 

Especially for someone who has been called a "glowing ball of happiness" and prides herself on being infectiously positive.

But after years of feeling stuck, I found a turning point in 2017, though I didn't fully realize it at the time.

My life began to change once I did one thing: stop hiding.

For as long as I could remember, I had been hiding in plain sight. Hiding from my true self, a creative person. A creator. A writer. 

I had subconsciously placed myself at the periphery, yet longed to jump out from the shadows and into the action. I hadn't fully stepped into the role of what I love to do: communicate with emotion to connect with others. 

It sounds simple, but in practice, it was incredibly hard to do. Why? Fear.

I was scared. Scared of being vulnerable. Of facing ridicule. I questioned why I had the audacity to think I could pull this creative thing off. I was plagued by "imposter syndrome," foolishly believing I wasn't good enough.

It was safer to hide.  But the more I retreated, the more I felt like every day a little bit of me was dying inside. I wasn't just stagnating; I was withering away.

That all changed earlier this year when I mustered up my courage to step into my true self.

When I stopped hiding, amazing things began to happen. People "saw" me. The right people. And I'm not just talking about the clients who put their trust in my creative abilities or those who engage with my content. The most important person who finally saw me as the "Creative Amy" was the woman staring at me in the mirror.

Real change happens when you align your attention with your intention and then take action. 

In my case, when I finally embraced my true self:

· I shifted my consultancy to a strategic writing practice, helping fantastic clients tell their unique stories to build their brands and reputations as thought leaders.

· I was told — more than once — that my content had inspired and motivated others, which inspired and motivated me to continue on my path.

· I was invited to speak at several events on content creation and strategy, communication, connection, and branding.

· I connected with thousands of people across the globe and amassed an engaged following of like-minded, positive individuals.

· I started to thrive in every area of my life. Personally and professionally, I gained clarity of purpose, true fulfillment, and happiness once I was free to be me.

· I co-authored my first book, designed to help others find their own creative catalyst and unleash their potential.

And most importantly, for the first time in as long as I can remember, I am filled with excitement and anticipation for the new year.

Here's to new beginnings, to lessons learned, and to finding your place in the sun. 

Are we too quick to say goodbye to our "negative" emotions?

By: Jessica Slattery

We are blasted daily with messages to push our “negative” emotions aside, and to focus on our positivity instead, and while those messages have a place, is it necessarily the best idea to immediately push aside our hurt or anger?

I propose, that allowing yourself to take a little walk on the “negative” side can actually be beneficial.

The moment you find out you didn’t get the job you interviewed for, or you received another rejection letter, or you simply spilled tea all over yourself on your way into work, can easily cause your day to take a downturn. We’ve all been there in some form or another, and if you hop on Instagram, or talk to a friend, you are right away told to look at the bright side and move on, or something about closed doors and open windows. Even though it may seem helpful to assault your hurt or sadness with positive quips and quotes, you may actually be doing yourself a disservice.

I wholeheartedly believe in the power of positivity. I believe that it is what gets me through hundreds of doctors’ appointments, countless tests, and never ending setbacks. However, I believe that hurt and sadness can be equally powerful tools.

I know for me, that because I do ride the positivity train all day every day, when a glimmer of frustration or gloom crept into my life in the past, I would try my hardest to push it away as quickly as possible.

As if I wasn’t allowed to ever feel sad about things like not being able to have any more children, or because I know someone who has it so much worse than I do, that my own hurt and complaints are petty.

It wasn’t until I was telling a piece of my story to someone new, and she stopped and looked at me, and said, “You’ve been through so much.” I, of course, brushed it off with a nervous giggle, and told her, “Oh, yeah. Well, we all have something. I’m fine.” However, she continued to probe me. Normally, this would annoy me, because I don’t really like to talk about all of my health woes, especially with people I haven't known for a very long time, but then she said, “You know, a lot of women do that. They brush off their own hurt to make everyone else comfortable. It is ok to be angry as hell at what you’ve had to go through. It’s ok to be sad and frustrated.”

She was absolutely right. I believe that often times us, as women, are conditioned to diffuse situations and make those around us feel comfortable even if we aren’t comfortable ourselves.

So, from that moment on, I stopped trying so hard to brush the hurt away. Instead, when I feel frustrated that a doctor isn’t really hearing me, or I’m a little sad when I sit in a waiting room with a pregnant woman and her husband, I let myself feel it. I let myself sit in that emotion for a moment, and I validate it for myself. I am allowed to feel sad, angry, frustrated, scared, or whatever. It doesn’t make me less of a person, and it definitely doesn’t mean that I’m not a fighter. It means that I am human, and that my heart is capable of having a moment of sadness, while still maintaining a positive outlook.

Once I embraced my own hurt, and quit suppressing it with an onslaught of forced positivity, I became a more relaxed person. When you are constantly fighting your own emotions, you begin to doubt yourself and feel like you are the only person who struggles with hurt, anger, or sadness, and that can be incredibly isolating.

Instead, if you simply allow yourself to feel that emotion, and then work through it, rather than suppress it, you’ll find not only a much better way to cope, but also a better way to understand yourself and your own needs, and that knowledge is as powerful as positivity.

So, if you spill tea all over yourself on your way into work, and you feel like you want to cry, do it. Go ahead and cry and be angry, and then, when you’re ready, march into that office with your tea-stained shirt and your head in the air, because you just tended to your emotions like a boss.