Anti aging guide

How to reduce the effects of social aging?



The two paths to total fulfillment in social aging

Making an attempt to lessen the impact of social aging may prevent the very thing people are fearful of: disability and illness in older life.

There are two paths to total fulfillment. The first path is: ‘Act just like you are going to live eternally.’ Begin new projects, plant a tree to see it grow, regardless of what your age is currently. The second path is: ‘Act such as you are going to die at any moment.’

Don’t miss any opportunities, enjoy each particular moment because you will never experience it again. If you don’t stop to look at a rose now, somebody will cut it tomorrow and you will have missed the chance to give that little pleasure to yourself.

Philosophers say that incorporating the positive parts of these two pathways is the basis of all true personal happiness. Think about it.

One reason why people dread old age is the fear of approaching death. The realization that we only have a short time on this Earth and that death is not only inevitable but, most importantly, permanent, must be the most bitter discovery each one of us has to make.

The preoccupation with longevity and death is, according to religion, due to a decline in faith in divine salvation from death. We don’t believe as widely as before that immortality is possible by divine action. So to avoid death we either ignore the problem altogether (ie, we put a taboo on it) or we try to find other ways of dealing with it.

For Christian believers, there is life after death so it doesn’t matter if we die now, for we will live again in heaven forever. Similarly, for Muslims there is life in heaven awaiting the righteous. It is very comforting to know that if you live your life with a certain virtue, you will be rewarded by eternal life in Paradise. Some true believers in fact see their life here on Earth as an obstacle to eternal life and believe the sooner they finish it here the better. This, perhaps, is one reason why so many young believers are not afraid to die in combat.

For Hindus, there is the belief in reincarnation, that a person will come again on this Earth in another life. Reincarnation is a quite widespread belief and it may serve the purpose of cushioning the fear of death. Whether it actually happens or not, believers still experience a sense of internal tranquility and a reduced fear of death. Why should you fear death if there is the guarantee that you will come back again in a different form? Why should you try and prolong this life when you have the opportunity to live again as somebody else?

Other religions like Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that there will be a final battle between God and Satan and, following this, a period where aging will stop, ie, we will achieve immortality of the body as well as the soul.

But what about the non-believers, the agnostics and the atheists? It is a very soul-destroying conclusion to realize that life is finite and there is no hope of revival.
Cryonics, the freezing of human bodies in the hope that they can be revived in the future, suggests a way out of this by offering hope of a future life after a period of suspended animation. This theme of suspended animation goes back through the ages, with the fairytale of Sleeping Beauty probably the earliest example. In this, the princess lies asleep for many, many years and when woken up by the prince, she is as young as she was before she fell asleep.

These and other exotic ideas all attempt to satisfy our inability to face death and to reduce our fears regarding the finiteness of human life. As we grow older, it is only natural to begin to consider such matters. It is remarkable that many young scientists believe that there is no life after death and yet, as they grow older and realize the prospect of their own certain death, they begin to change their minds about their original theories and trust that there may be some hope after all.

Whatever our beliefs, coming to terms with death is a vital part of learning to live well. Another part is making the most of life, and that includes aging well. What can we do to stop or at least slow down aging? We can do many, many things. First, prevent it, then treat it and finally reverse it. Let’s start with prevention.

Posted by Carol Hudgens - January 26, 2012 at 5:08 am