Biohacking is on the rise, and billions are being invested in scientific research, longevity, eternal youth. Some media channels are even starting to talk about immortality. But, just as the science world is making breakthroughs, the industry is set to grow into one of the biggest money-spinners in modern medicine.
The appearance of wrinkles, sagging skin and grey hairs has, throughout history, made people obsessed with finding the mythical ‘elixir of youth’, but already there are concerns that the obsession is spiraling out of control. Doctors warn that some people are in fact so obsessed with achieving eternal youth that they are becoming psychologically damaged as a result.
Trying to turn back the clock can also be very damaging for people who have it done for the wrong reasons. Some people suffer crises in their lives and get depressed. They then see surgery or other such interventions as the solution. When this doesn’t change their lives as they had hoped, they become even more depressed. Objectively, some good results can be achieved, but they still don’t really make people look younger or feel happier.
Society is rapidly aging, with more people living longer and fewer babies being born. The number of senior citizens in the world is set to increase from 629 million today to 2 billion by 2050 (*The UN’s Second World Assembly on Ageing). Can you imagine the number of resources spent on “anti-aging procedures” and “elixirs of youth” globally?
Every day we are bombarded with products that promise to keep us looking and feeling younger. Across Europe today, tens of millions of people will cover their faces this morning and with creams tonight, whose incredible expense is only matched by their total ineffectiveness.
The moment we are born, we all start the aging process! What if we, instead, learn to embrace aging as a part of life’s journey? Could there be such a thing as aging gracefully?
What if we could switch from challenging dominant cultural norms and entrenched anti-aging messages, to feeling comfortable in our own skin as the decades pass.
Let’s look deeper into the core reasons why we are afraid of aging:
-Fear of losing value in society, physical health and our relevance.
-Cultural pressures to maintain a youthful appearance, especially for women
-The financial and psychological burdens that result from our obsession with staying young.
-The idea that, with age, we become less desirable
What if we accept the inevitable changes of aging, rather than seeing them as crises and focus on improving our health and getting rid of chronic conditions (or at least making them manageable)? Isn’t this what we should be concentrating on? Good health, vitality, well-being, emotional stability and resilience, these things are our priorities!
You will not look younger if you are 20 kilos overweight. A lack of wrinkles and gray hair can help to make people look younger, but being in good physical shape and having a well-trained body, beautiful posture and the ability to manage stress, work far better. Life will always have its stresses, from family to work to finances. It’s unavoidable, and these can cause a barrage of health problems like sleeplessness, depression, and heart disease. Some studies suggest stress can make you appear up to 10 years older! But, people aging gracefully, have learned to manage their stress.
Whether it’s through meditation, exercise, or just taking a couple of minutes for yourself each day, a healthy mental attitude and a cheerful and positive psychological outlook towards yourself and your future does a great deal to keep the signs of aging at bay. The only thing we need is to get rid of this fear of age, except that it is the natural process, and enjoy the power of now.