There is a growing number of quantum physicists who theorize that thoughts actually may have mass, and there are corollaries called "field theory" and "morphogenic fields" postulating that thoughts may have a physical effect on us and our world. Additionally, there is a striking collection of experiments and anecdotal reports that support these theories. What can we take away from that in our talk about aging? We can at least suspect that a positive attitude, treating others the way we would want others to treat us, an outlook of cooperation rather than competition, and well-developed senses of compassion and empathy may very well contribute to our own well-being. Indeed, I have seen over and over throughout the past two decades of my career that people who are kind, honest and concerned as much about the well-being of others as themselves seem to stay younger in body and mind versus people who "have an edge". There's a lightness and a centeredness about them that surely contributes to that perception of youth and vitality.
There is a rich cornucopia of books out there on these subjects to suit every personality and taste. Gregg Braden's "The Divine Matrix" is a great place to start. A former aerospace computer systems designer, his writing never proselytizes but presents the reader with a feast of ideas to contemplate regarding just who we are.
An excellent way to bring your mind to a peaceful place is to meditate. My patients have sometimes said, "Oh, I can't do that -- my mind just starts to race". It's difficult for us, especially in our modern culture (although even Tibetan monks can have the problem) to completely quiet our minds. Know that you don't need to do anything formal like sitting in a particular position and you certainly don't need to reach a "goal". Sitting quietly for a few minutes and focusing on just listening to yourself breathe can be immensely calming. "Meditation" can even be losing yourself in a beautiful piece of music or stroking a beloved pet while appreciating what animals can teach us about unconditional love. Perhaps remembering an incident in your life when you felt particularly whole or fulfilled is a good way for you to begin. Anything that calms you or makes you feel peacefully happy, even if it's just for a few minutes here and there, is therapeutic.
Neurophysiologists have demonstrated that our brains have an amazing amount of "neuroplasticity" -- that we can continue to develop our brains throughout our lifetime. If you want absolute proof, log on to Lumosity.com and start training. It's very inexpensive, a lot of fun and you can track your progress with each session.
Aging is part of living; it's what we do because we are living. Attitude is one of the few elements of our lives over which we have control. Choose to see aging as the gift of living another day or another year. Choose to see aging as an opportunity to continue to grow rather than as a decline. The body you live in is precious. Give it the exercise it craves (certainly under a physician's care if you have any health issues) and the nutrients that make it healthy. Give your mind the benefit of healthy stimulation and your soul the elixir of a positive attitude. If it takes some discipline, that discipline will reward you many times over. Now that that's all solved, we'll talk later about having a face that reflects how vital and alive you feel!
Did you miss part 1? Click here!
Oculofacial Plastic Surgeon, Sarasota, Florida
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