Laughter Really Is the Best Anti-Aging Medicine Against Stress
It’s not uncommon to hear the phrase “laughter is the best medicine.” When it comes to anti-aging and stress, it’s actually quite true. Laughter does a lot of good for your body by changing around the ways that your body produces certain hormones, which can ultimately lead to less stress, fewer physical problems, and more benefits.
One huge benefit of laughter is that it makes your body slow down the production of cortisol. Cortisol is the stress hormone responsible for all of the bad feelings you have when you get stressed out.
Your body assumes that since you’re laughing, you must not be in any danger, and therefore you don’t need the stress hormone. This action alone cuts back on a huge amount of physical effects, such as soreness, insomnia, and more.
Laughing can help your body produce more endorphins, a positive hormone that helps make you feel excited, happy, and more active. Endorphins are crucial to dealing with stress, because they not only lighten your mood, but also help motivate you to tackle whatever it is that’s stressing you out.
By increasing the production of endorphins, you’re helping your body deal with stress and preventing any unnecessary, excessive aging. Yet another benefit of laughter is its ability to boost your immune system.
It increases antibody production and makes T cells better at doing their jobs, leading to a stronger all around immune system. Considering that stress can wear out an immune system, having something to boost it back up can be incredibly valuable, and might just prevent you from catching a virus.
Having some joy and laughter in your life is very important. Find some ways to make yourself laugh every now and then, no matter what it takes. If you frequently watch dramatic TV shows and movies, go for some comedies from time to time.
With so many different shows available, you’re bound to find something that fits your style of humor. Even if it requires you to find something silly and stupid that you wouldn’t normally think is funny, go with it.
Make some stupid jokes with your friends that you can just simply laugh at. If you make everything in life serious and complicated, you’re going to have a harder time getting through it. With all of the benefits that come with laughter, you’d be putting yourself at a disadvantage not trying to get more of it.
High Levels of Ongoing Stress Contribute to Muscle Deterioration
Cortisol is a particularly bad hormone in high quantities. It leads to a ton of health problems, from expedited aging to a lack of sleep. Two of the often overlooked problems associated with high levels of cortisol are muscle deterioration and stunted muscle growth, both of which can be highly irritating and can pose a lot of problems moving forward.
If you’re trying to work out and you’re not seeing any muscle buildup, even after many months of working out, then you might be suffering from high levels of stress. When you have too much cortisol, it starts to block off the parts of your muscles that accept protein, which can cause a lot of issues.
Protein helps your muscles grow and keeps them healthy. When you lift weights, you’re basically making a bunch of tiny rips and tears in your muscles, which protein then goes and fills in.
By filling in and building upon these tears, your muscles not only grow, but also become stronger, which is why weightlifting does what it does. By blocking your ability to take in proteins, cortisol is leaving your muscles without any good means of repairing themselves.
One key problem associated with this is soreness. Without protein, any physical activity will leave you much more sore than you usually are, because your proteins aren’t able to do their jobs.
This is why many people with high levels of stress experience things like back pain on a regular basis. This also means that you won’t really be able to get stronger if you’re trying to work out.
You’ll just become sore, and won’t see any real progress. This can be incredibly frustrating and can lead to you getting even more stressed out, creating a bad cycle to get into.
To break the cycle, you need to first address what it is that’s stressing you out. By decreasing your stress, even just for a few days, you’re allowing your cortisol levels to drop back down to where they normally are.
This gives your body time to essentially reset, reverting back to its natural levels. You can accomplish this with a few days off at home or even a vacation. Really, as long as you’re getting rest and clearing your mind, you should be able to come back from a chronic form of stress and will see better results when you return to your routine of working out.
One of the most upsetting things that tend to change or deteriorate as we get older is our teeth. As we age, our teeth will often start to become discoloured and wonky. Some will fall out and our gums will recede. Often we’ll have some plaque and decay during our younger years too, which can lead to fillings and extractions.
In fact, our teeth and our age are so closely related psychologically, that this has given rise to expressions like ‘long in the tooth’. Dream analysis also tells us that dreams of losing our teeth are normally really dreams about getting older…
So the question then becomes: how can you keep your teeth for longer, so that you may stay looking younger? Here are some tips that can help out…
Go Easy On Them
Your impulse when planning on keeping your teeth younger and healthier may be to start brushing more regularly and vigorously and perhaps to use expensive toothpastes with whitening properties.
The problem is that this can actually be quite misguided and end up doing more harm than good. The reason for this, is that brushing too hard can actually wear away your gums and the enamel that actually protects your teeth.
Likewise, if you use whitening toothpastes, they will often cause damage to the enamel too which will then expose your teeth to more damage.
Even fluoride – found in the majority of toothpastes – can actually cause discoloration and other issues. Choose something gentle and natural and brush gently too – you don’t need to push against your teeth to clean them thoroughly!
Then again, being conscientious is definitely a plus in other regards. In particular, you need to make sure you are brushing your teeth regularly and more importantly that you’re eating the right diet. That right diet means avoiding simple sugars (candies in particular) and it means eating lots of nutrients like calcium and like magnesium that will strengthen your teeth.
Flossing is something else important you need to do, that will help to remove lodged bits of food that can lead to tooth decay and other issues too. Flossing regularly is also good for your general health and although it might seem fiddly, it’s massively important.
And remember too – you can always use cosmetic dental surgery if you need it to turn back the clock on stained or crooked teeth.
Many people interested in staving off the effects of aging will mainly be so for vanity reasons. They don’t actually want to be immortal but rather they’re just interested in looking younger for longer and perhaps having a few less aches and pains.
But there are those with greater ambitions. There are those who want to slow their aging so that they can live forever and then enjoy all of the existential changes that would come from that.
This is completely impossible of course. Right?
Well, not if you listen to certain thinkers. In fact, most scientists believe that the first person to live forever has already been born.
The argument goes that someone born today who lives for 120 years will get to benefit from all of today’s modern medicine and lifestyle/health knowledge. In 30 years time, we might have even better medical technology and be able to cure a lot of life-ending diseases. 20 years later and we might be able to extend the average life span with gene doping (perhaps by rejuvenating the telomeres). 30 years later and we may be able to perform a brain transplant…
250 years later and we might be able to upload our consciousness to the computer.
It sounds far-fetched but so too would the internet, were you to explain it to someone alive 100 years ago!
The Top Methods for Extending Lifespan Greatly
To demonstrate just how possible this is, let’s take a look at some of the best options we have for extending lifespans in the near future…
Insertional gene doping is already being used by doctors and essentially allows you to permanently alter your DNA through a single injection. Among other things, this could someday enable us to strengthen cell walls – extending our lifespans by approximately 30% and making us less susceptible to fire or toxins.
In the distant future, we may be able to emulate the abilities of some species of jellyfish that can actually restore their entire bodies by returning to a polyp state.
Right now, we don’t know if it is truly possible to upload our consciousness or even if we would want to. One speculated methodology though, involves potentially replacing each brain cell or brain structure with mechanical parts, one piece at a time.
Think this sounds like something out of science fiction? Actually, such a procedure is being attempted in the near future. Hitler experimented with head transplants during WW2 as well!
Not ready for a head transplant just yet? Don’t worry! In the meantime, the best you can do is simply to live as healthily as you possibly can…
Watching our bodies fail us as we get older can very often be a painful and depressing. Over time, we can find ourselves becoming less able bodied, slower and older in our appearance as well.
But what is actually much worse than this, is noticing your brain start to fail you. Our brain is what houses who we are. Our brain is what gives rise to all of our subjective experiences… and seeing that start to deteriorate is very frightening indeed.
So the question is: how can you protect your brain into old age? Here are some strategies and suggestions that may be able to help…
One of the very most important things you can do for your brain is to keep learning and to keep subjecting yourself to novel experiences. Our brains operate on a ‘use it or lose it’ basis, just like every part of our biology. So if you are going through the exact same motions day in, day out, then you will find that your brain loses the ability to learn and adapt to changes the way it once did.
The problem is that so many of us do stop subjecting ourselves to new experiences as we age. Partly this is due to simple societal pressures: when we age, we tend to become less active and less social and this means we lose our opportunities for learning.
The key is to keep trying new things. Many blogs will tell you that playing chess is a good way to keep your brain healthy but in fact this isn’t necessarily the best option: playing chess is just one activity and involves relatively little learning.
Instead, try computer games. Why? Because each time you try a new computer game, you are forced to take up new skills and new abilities. Each time you learn a new game, you need new controls, which will incorporate new neural pathways. Each new game has an entirely new set of skills and that means you are continually learning.
One of the very best things for our brains is to keep socializing. This is highly important, as social stimulation stimulates positive hormones and keeps our brain active and challenged. As we get older, often we start to keep ourselves locked away and stop going out so much. This means less social stimulation, which means rapid deterioration. Again, this is something to avoid.
Unless they are still in their early twenties, everyone wants to look younger. There are very few who think that grey hair, wrinkles or age spots make them look more attractive and the unfortunate thing is that once these things start to appear, they can be extraordinarily difficult to reverse.
Many of these things can be reversed; it’s just that it takes a long time. And you would have been much better off trying to prevent them from arising in the first place, rather than trying to turn back the clock.
What if you don’t have the time to begin an entirely new skin regime? What if it’s too late for amino acids and antioxidants?
Let’s take a look at some of the things you can do instead to look younger instantly.
Change Your Hair
One of the easiest ways to quickly look younger is to change your hairstyle. The result of this will depend very much on your face shape and your preferences – but often choosing a shorter haircut will be the best way to look instantly younger for both men and women. This can also be slimming, as it shows off your neck – one of the thinnest parts of your body.
Exfoliating is definitely one of the very best ways to make yourself look younger. This will remove any dead skin cells or dirt from the top layer of the skin on your face. That in turn will make the level of your skin more even, thereby making your wrinkles much more shallow.
Another benefit of exfoliating is that it reveals the much healthier and more youthful skin underneath. This has a much more natural glow, which can make you appear healthier and younger at the same time!
Whiten Your Teeth
Another very easy way to instantly look that bit younger is to whiten your teeth. Our teeth are one of the biggest give-aways when it comes to our true age and if you keep these looking fresh, strong and white then you will look younger and healthier by default.
Many people think that the best way to look younger is to wear younger clothes. In fact though, the opposite is normally true. That’s because very young looking clothes risk making you look older by comparison. Dressing your age is surprisingly one of the best ways to appear younger in many cases!
What does an old person look like?
Hunched over? Slow? Doddering? Shaky?
And how likely are you to see an older person in their 70s+ go running or performing gymnastics? Not very?
Our assumptions about the elderly are generally fuelled by stereotypes and perhaps the people we know in our own lives. But just because a lot of people lose their ability to move well as they age, that doesn’t mean you have to.
Just take a look at Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone. These guys are approaching their 70s and they’re still more muscular than most of us every will be in our whole lives! There are old Grandmas in their 80s who can perform top-level gymnastics and at any marathon you will see a lot of elderly contenders.
The reality is that your body does not have a ‘best before’ date on it. Actually, your body should be more than capable of lasting your entire life. The problem is the way we use it.
How Your Body Deteriorates
Think about what most of us do between the hours of 9-5, 5 days a week. We sit in an office, hunched over and working. No doubt most of us will pick up some kind of injury and this then teaches us that we need to slow down and stop being active (which is encouraged by most people we know).
We spend our retirement also sitting down and during all this time, our bodies start to lose their flexibility, their muscle tone and their dynamism. This is when imbalances arrive and it’s when we start to experience chronic pain.
Sometimes this is exacerbated by illness or inflammation but very often it is simply the result of a lack of use, improper movement and muscular imbalances.
How to Fix It
So how do you fix it?
Simple: you start to move again.
And you stop treating yourself like you’re made from glass! You need to push your body for it to adapt and become stronger and that is how you avoid aging.
That doesn’t mean you should launch straight into an intense CrossFit regime though. Instead, you need to make sure that you introduce yourself to exercise gently with walking or swimming and then build on that. Work with a trainer and find someone who understands functional movement. In no time, you’ll be moving better than you ever did in your youth!
Testosterone is the male sex hormone and is responsible for many of the traits that we consider to be typically masculine. That includes muscle mass, low body fat, a big jaw, thick brow, aggression, confidence, body hair and a deep voice.
Testosterone also makes us feel great. The top athletes produce lots of testosterone because it makes them stronger, more energetic and better at recovering. It also makes us happier (low testosterone is associated with depression), more virile, better in bed and generally more alpha.
But a huge proportion of men in the Western world have chronically low testosterone. And this only gets worse and worse, the older we get.
The question is: how can you slow down the effects of old age by keeping testosterone where it should be?
Why is Testosterone Low?
This is not just a problem for elderly pensioners. Rather, it is just as much an issue for guys in their 40s and 50s and it’s a MUCH bigger problem now than it was even 30 years ago.
Why? Several reasons:
* We spend less time outdoors
* We spend more time on the computer
* Our water and many of our products contain estrogenic compounds
* We are often encouraged to pursue less classically ‘manly’ activities
* We are less active
* We are malnourished
This then right away highlights some of the things we can do to get our T levels back to normal. Spend more time outside, exercise more (using compound movements), drink water from a filter and avoid shampoos filled with chemicals and make sure you eat well.
Some Powerful Tips
There are also a few powerful tips you can employ to give yourself an instant testosterone boost.
For example, eating more saturated fats will make a big difference. That’s because these contain cholesterol and cholesterol is what the body actually uses to make testosterone. Eat this just before bed because you produce maximum testosterone at 4am in the morning.
Another tip is to get more sleep then! Deeper sleep leads to more T, so make sure you do everything you can to prioritise good sleep.
Also: get more vitamin D. Vitamin D is the reason that time outdoors is related to testosterone – it acts like a master controller for your hormones and we produce more when we get exposure to sunlight. If you can’t be outside more, then take a supplement to get your fill!
If you’re very young right now, then you may think that anti-aging articles and tips don’t apply to you. Those are for older people right?
In reality, those articles apply to you more than anyone else! After all, it’s too late to prevent aging once you are already feeling and looking a lot older! And when you get to that point where the crow’s feet and age spots are showing, you’ll only wish that you had taken the opportunity to protect yourself against aging when you were younger.
So what can you do right now, to make sure that you keep your good looks and good health well into older age?
In terms of lifestyle, there are a ton of things you need to do to stay younger and healthier in the way you look and feel.
For starters, try to avoid too much direct sunlight. UV rays damage the skin cells and while you might think nothing of this; it makes a huge cumulative difference that is very apparent when you’re older!
Likewise, you absolutely have to make sure you are getting plenty of high quality sleep. This will help you improve your health in all manner of ways, as sleep is when the body restores cells, forms new neural connections and produces lots of growth hormone and testosterone.
The right skin care regimen can make a massive difference. Any good skin care routine should incorporate an exfoliator, some kind of protection and some kind of moisturizer. And don’t forget the hands! Often the hands are the biggest giveaway of your true age when you’re older!
Nutrition is massive important when it comes to the way you age. Many of the illnesses we associate with old age are in fact just the result of long-term nutrient deficiencies. If you ensure that you keep getting enough of your micronutrients, your body will be supplied with all the raw materials it needs to keep you looking and feeling as young as possible.
And don’t just exercise: move more. Sitting takes years off of your life because it allows your heart to become weaker. What’s more, is that it also weakens your muscles, ruins your flexibility and damages your posture. It’s very important that you keep moving as you get older to avoid a hunched over appearance.
There are lots of things you can do to slow down the sands of time and age a little slower. A lot of this boils down to the right lifestyle and if you can avoid the sun, get lots of exercise and learn to better handle stress; all these things will keep you looking and feeling younger.
But sometimes it’s even simpler than that. In fact, one of the very best ways to stay young is just to eat right. Eating the right foods can help you to fend off deterioration as well as to fortify yourself against illness and help your body to keep rejuvenating itself.
Let’s take a look at some of the very best nutrition that will help you to stay youthful…
Most important of all are your antioxidants. These are things like vitamin C which help to combat free radicals in the body. Free radicals are compounds that travel freely around the body and that are reactive when they come into contact with the cell walls. This is bad news, because they can eventually damage the exterior of the cells to the point where they look wrinkled and aged. Worse, they can eventually break through to the DNA and cause mutations that lead to cancer.
Eating lots of antioxidants will keep these to a minimum, thereby reducing the negative effects they have on the body.
Vitamin C also happens to boost the immune system, which means that it can help to fight all manner of illnesses and invading forces that can badly damage your health in older age.
Omega 3 Fatty Acid
Omega 3 fatty acid is very good for keeping your brain young and healthy in older age. That’s because it is able to improve cell membrane permeability, speeding up communication between brain cells.
Better yet, omega 3 is also an antioxidant, protects joints and improves nutrient absorption. It also slows the break down of muscle (which vitamin C also does).
Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins and they’re incredibly important for your health – especially as they age. These compounds serve all manner of important roles in the body from forming enzymes to aid digestion to forming neurochemicals. They also act as the raw materials that the body is made from though and that makes them crucial in restoring tissues as we get older including muscle and skin.
Do you eat these harmful foods that AGE you faster? Some are even deceptively marketed to you as “healthy” by giant food corporations. Avoid or minimize these and look 5-10 years YOUNGER than your real age.
by Mike Geary – Certified Nutrition Specialist & Catherine Ebeling – RN, BSN
Authors of the best seller: The Top 101 Foods that FIGHT Aging