Chronological age vs. Biological Age Is your body older or younger then your actual age?

Chronological age (or calendar age) is usually what comes to mind when we think of “how old we are.”  However our  biological age put very simply is how old your body “feels” or functions.

Have you ever thought about why 2 people at the same calendar age can look and most importantly act completely different?  One of this pair is off to the gym every morning, embraces a healthy diet, finds fulfillment out of their job and relationships and looks and acts 15 years younger. Whereas the other person of the same age has diabetes, frequents the doctor for different aches/pains/problems, none of their relationships work out and looks and acts older then the age on their license?

These trick on how to stay young is one that we should all be familiar with by now:  eat right and exercise. But have you ever realized that there is much more to it then that.

So what is the fountain of youth?
In order to have a lower biological age then chronological age lies in the way we interpret our world i.e. our reactions to situations

The human body is brilliant on so many levels. Yet it does not have the ability to differentiate between a situation that is actually occurring or if it is only occurring in your mind.  Why? This is because your body’s response is the same in both situations.

Think about getting into a dreaded conversation with a co-worker. What is your body’s response?  Increased heart, breathing, and sweating rate, anxiety and tightened muscles. Your body elicits that SAME response when actually having that conversation with your co-worker.

Your body’s physiological responses are primal protection mechanism i.e. “fight or flight.”  However when these reactions are consistent over a long period of time, throughout the workday and beyond, your body will start to break down.  Your immune system will become weaker, you will less able to fight off everyday problems. Most importantly your threshold for tolerance to another seemingly innocent annoyance with a co-worker/delivery person/lover will send you off your rocker.

My point here is that your reactions or thoughts about a situation dictates how your body will respond to it.

Think “I am going to be stressed out all day,“  and your body will produce those responses for you. Think and thy will receive.

If you get in an altercation in the morning you have 2 options.  Let it effect your mental and physical state all day by saying to and replaying it to others “Can you believe what he did?  I deserve the recognition for that account, how dare he” and so on and so on.  When you create inner resistance to the event, it will replay and effect you all day long.  Your body will be wrecked from stress and tire and fade more quickly then usual.

OR… You can take a breath, be still, and move on.  What happened, happened. It is what it is; perhaps you really did deserve the credit.  OK, but by accepting the present moment, by changing the way you think about it and moving forward will allow your mind and body (stress level) to be at rest.

Try this tomorrow, attempt to drop your personal inner resistance to negative situations that come your way. The situations will undoubtedly still occur, but the effect that they have on you will be minimal.   When I suggest this method to my clients the most common response I receive is that at the end of their day they are feeling less worn down, less emotionally drained.

Guess what people? Over time this acceptance and non inner-resistance has a positive effect on how your body looks and functions. A few obvious examples:  decreased wrinkles on the face (frown lines), better posture, lower blood pressure,  less likely to engage in excessive stress reducing (and not coincidentally) “age accelerating” behaviors like drugs/alcohol/over eating/abusive relationships…..

A few suggestions to take away

1. View negative occurrences as an opportunity. Use them to practice changing your reactions. Be more concerned with your inner response (breathing, fast heart rate, pain in the stomach.) Remember: stress is NOT the actual event itself. Stress is your RESPONSE to the event.

2. Alter your perception of time.  Live in the now, this is the only time there is.  Don’t impart the past or the future on the present moment.  If you are always thinking about tomorrow’s meeting or last weeks fight with your girlfriend you will never be able to concentrate on where you are right now…the present moment.

3. Be flexible. Don’t let the little things bother you. Accept the present moment for what it is and drop the resistance to it.

4. Practice quieting your brain.  Be still and just listen to your breathing; dont judge, think, or say anything. If you cannot do this when you are alone for at least a minute then you will have a very difficult time doing this when the guy is yelling at you in the grocery store, for example.

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