Aging is the process of becoming older, a process that is genetically determined and environmentally modulated. Science cannot predict the duration of a human life. Genetics, too, fails, because a centenarian may not have a centenarian parent. According to Dr Chopra: “Aging is much more of a choice than people ever dream” and for that, it is essential to reinterpret the concept of body and realize the “changeless I” inside of us, which the ancient sages in India simply called the Self (Soham). He considers three distinct ways to measure someone’s age: “Chronological Age – how old you are by the calendar; Biological Age – how old your body is in terms of critical life signs and cellular processes, i.e., how time has affected your organs and tissues compared to other people of your chronological age; and Psychological Age – how old you feel you are.”
I have learnt that an individual is living three different age levels at the same time. A male of chronological age 50, would have biological age of 55 and mental age of 60 years. Out of three aging processes, mental is the worst one and most dominating therefore it drags the physical body to the age of mental being. Therefore a young man with advanced mental aging will develop speedy biological aging and will suffer from degenerative diseases at an early age. When you age holistically, mental aging is slower than the biological aging and longevity is the outcome. In my opinion aging is an outcome of external and internal environmental factors, which are affecting the human body. Internal and external environment is interdependent and independent as well. For example; food is an external factor but controls internal environment, and at the same time unhealthy internal chemistry leads to abnormal food cravings. Centenarians go through holistic aging and have common healthy lifestyle factors. In order to delay degenerative aging and have holistic aging, the most important factor is mental health. If we are health conscious we nourish our body with a natural and healthy lifestyle but forget to nourish our mind and therefore suffer from mental aging. Every human being is born with a built-in passion for a hobby which is an anti-dote to mental stress. For holistic aging we have to allocate little time for our hobby.
Signs of Holistic Aging:
If you are between age 40-60, you can use the following check list to assess your type of aging:
- Not suffering from degenerative diseases like cardiac, diabetes, obesity, hypertension, musculoskeletal disorder, liver disease, kidney disorders, COPD, metabolic disorder and cancer.
- Miraculous phenomenon of spontaneous remission in terminal stages of cancer is seen only in those individual who are aging holistically.
- Never try to hide their age.
- Not suffering from recurrent attacks of infection.
- Least dependence on allopathic medicines.
- Sleep naturally.
- Not having physical signs of aging like wrinkling of facial, hand and feet skin, healthy shiny hair and delayed graying.
- Pleasant by temperament, youth enjoy their company and they wanted to follow their foot steps.
- Depressive episodes are temporarily and they don’t allow stress chemicals to infiltrate into the cell environment.
- Good self critic, open to criticism, always in a learning mode and have many mentors.
- Never wanted to live in the past and try to avail maximally present opportunities.
- Can laugh easily and find happy moments in stressful situations also.
- Nature is at priority in terms of food, exercise, stress, relationships, and even in vacations.
- Life plans are short term and don’t waste energy in long term planning.
- Believe in intuition and gut feeling therefore well aligned with mind and spirit. Blessed with wisdom and have good connection with mind and spirit which delay mental aging.
- Leaves this world peacefully, with less pain and complications.
Signs of Degenerative Aging:
- Suffer from various acute and chronic diseases frequently and take allopathic medicines quite often.
- Show signs of weak immune system.
- Try to hide their actual age.
- Unhappy or dissatisfied with everything in life and lots of expectations from others.
- Attention seekers.
- Anti-nature and prefers short cuts regarding food, rest, exercise and even stress management.
- Always in a race mode with poor planning.
- Irritable, short tempered, suffering from various complexes and criticizing other people.
- Confused in terms of belief, faith and conviction.
- Stress induced facial skin wrinkling at an early age.
- Lives in the past and fond of repeating old life success stories.
- Never carry charisma and people try to avoid their company.
- Never attain enlightenment and speedy mental aging brings them to the mental level of a child.
- Are dependent on food, drug, cigarette, or alcohol for stress relieve.
- Death is due to multiple complications and terminal part of life is debilitating.