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10 Things that Make You Look and Feel Older than You Are

By Alisa Sabin June 29, 2021 Lifestyle

Is age really just a number? Sometimes it feels like it and sometimes it seems uncompromisingly set in stone. Everyone would like to look and feel younger, but how do we do this? It is probably easier to point out the things that make us look and feel older than we are and avoid these things.

The memes are flying across social media with cute little sayings, pictures and photos with the caption “Feel Old Yet?” Things like a photo of Henry Winkler on Happy Days with his leather jacket with the caption “The Fonz is 75 years old today. Feel old yet?” Yikes, let’s not think about that.

First of all, we need to remember that everything is relative. People are living longer and longer. So, what is old anyway? By the time we are “old,” it may no longer be considered old.

“Aging is just another word for living.”

— Cindy Joseph

Here is a list of 10 things that make you look and feel older than you are:

#1: Being Out of Style

Of course, no one wants to be called out for dressing like a teenager, but there is something to be said about staying somewhat current with the trends. When my kids see my high school yearbook photos, they are shocked that everyone looks so much older than the teenagers of today or even when they were a teenager.

I remember thinking the same thing when I looked at my parents’ high school yearbooks. Are teenagers looking younger with each generation? I doubt it. What is actually going on here is we associate hairstyles and dress with a generation. Why? Because many people are die-hards about dressing and looking the same way as when they were young.

Where once a beehive or feathered hair meant youth, it is now only really found in the elderly who refuse to change with the times. The irony is that by trying to look as you did when you were young, you make yourself actually look and feel older.

While we may want to steer clear of the fads of the youth, such as corset miniskirts, we do want a slow transition into style that does not date us. Classic clothing and hairdos are great for keeping the mystery of age alive.

#2: Sleep Depravation

It’s called sleeping like a baby for a reason. When you are tired with dark circles under your eyes, you will look and feel old. There may be no better fountain of youth than to be well rested. Energy is only available when you take the time to recharge.

#3: Being Grumpy

Frowning and scowling not only gives you wrinkles, it makes you feel old. Grumpy old man and crotchety old woman is what comes to mind when you see someone who is always in a bad mood.

#4: Never Trying or Learning Anything New

You can’t teach an old dog new tricks. So, if you can teach a dog new tricks, it must not be old, right? Right! You really can keep your mind young as long as you continue to grow as a person.

“A man is not old until regrets take the place of dreams.”

— John Barrymore

#5: Isolating Yourself

How many movies and real life stories are there about the scary old person living alone in an a big, old, isolated home? You must interact with people to feel young and alive.

There is no doubt that it can be extremely difficult to meet people and socialize as you age. But it can and should be done. Join clubs. Take classes. Volunteer. Do things that force you to interact with people and you will look and feel younger. If there is anything that this last year of social distancing has taught us, it is that we need each other.

#6: Worry

Worry lines equal wrinkles. Worry also robs you of your most precious commodity, time. Worry can consume you and take your entire life if you let it.

“I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.”

— Mark Twain

#7: Being a Couch Potato

We all know the old person who is almost a permanent fixture of the family room. They barely move, sitting, remote in hand. They are almost zombified, watching TV all day. A mobile adult, legs on wheelchair or other assistive device, is a younger feeling and younger looking adult.

#8: Lying in Bed Most of the Day

Even more elderly looking than one lying on the couch most of the day is the person that doesn’t even make it out of the bedroom. If you don’t bother to get out of bed, your mind and body will surely deteriorate. It is a use it or lose it existence.

#9: Being Negative

Negative Nellies, much like Debbie Downers, look and feel old beyond their years. What do we think of when we think of youth? Youth is hope, potential, and exuberance. Positivity shines on your face and aura, attracting more and more positivity.

#10: Holding on to Anger

Anger and rage will kill you long before you die. I do not at all want to deny the validity of anyone’s pain or injustice they have been subjected to. There is terrible inequity and cruelty in this world. But will you allow the evil perpetrators to take your entire life?

From the petty unfairness to the outrageous abuse, we are human and therefore experience anger. Do all you can to right the wrongs in this world. Do it with beautiful, youthful energy and hope for humanity and change.

Do you feel older or younger than your age? Do you think about your age often? What things have you noticed that make you feel older or younger?

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The Author

Dr. Alisa Sabin is an urgent care physician at Sutter Gould Medical Foundation in Stockton, California. She is also an author of her debut novel, Still. It is a medical thriller about an organized crime ring of maternity nurses. Alisa loves working with patients and she loves to write. You can follow her on her website at https://alisasabin1.wixsite.com/mysite.

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