20 Things You Can Do Right Now to Feel Younger
Slow the aging process using these easy steps.
If you believe that the fountain of youth may not exist—or if it does, you can't afford access—science says you're wrong. There are things you can do right now to feel like you've turned back the clock. What's more, certain simple lifestyle changes not only help you feel younger, but they may be able to slow the aging process. According to experts, these are vital things you can do right now to feel younger.
Just close your eyes, breathe, and concentrate on the present moment. "Taking a brief mindfulness moment helps us reconnect with the present, much like when we were children, naturally living in the here-and-now without worrying about the future," says Bayu Prihandito, a life coach at Life Architekture. "This immediate connection to our surroundings evokes the simplicity and wonder of our childhood, making us feel more youthful and alive."
Spend more time looking away from screens. "Putting aside our phones for a while can bring us back to a time when life was less about screens and more about tangible experiences and genuine connections," says Prihandito. "This break can take us to the old days where life felt less rushed and more organic, sparking in us a sense of youthful simplicity, naivety, and adventure."
Not only can drinking water help your skin look younger, but a study published in the January 2023 issue of the Lancet found that staying well-hydrated may reduce biological aging. The researchers recommended that women drink 12 eight-ounce cups of water daily and men have 15.
"Regular physical activity is an excellent way to maintain vitality and feel younger. Exercise strengthens the body and promotes better sleep, enhances mood, and boosts energy levels," says board-certified bariatric surgeon Dr. Rene Armenta. "Finding a form of exercise that you enjoy can significantly improve overall well-being and a greater sense of youthfulness." A recent study found that a 10-minute run can boost brain function and improve mood.
A 2016 study published in PLOS One found that people who smile frequently are perceived as being younger than those who don't. It will make you feel younger, too: Smiling tells the brain to release endorphins and tiny molecules called neuropeptides that reduce stress.
"Reaching out and reconnecting with old friends or family can bring us back to fun and cherished memories," says Prihandito. "Sharing stories and remembering our past can evoke nostalgia, making us feel as if we've momentarily stepped back into our younger days."
"When we put our brains through new challenges, it mirrors the constant learning curve of our younger years," says Prihandito. "Starting a new hobby or learning a skill reminds us of the excitement and curiosity we felt as children, making us feel fresh and younger at heart."
According to the Cleveland Clinic, strength training can increase your energy and create muscle that can help you feel stronger and more youthful.
A study published in February 2022 in JAMA Network Open surveyed aging satisfaction among 14,000 adults older than 50. The researchers found that people more satisfied with the aging process had a lower risk for diabetes, stroke, cancer, and heart disease, had better cognitive functioning, were less lonely and depressed, were more physically active, and slept better. "People with more positive attitudes about growing old tend to live longer and healthier lives than those with negative thoughts about aging. If you feel younger, you are more likely to act younger," said Dr. David Sinclair, professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School. "Maintaining a healthy and positive mindset as you age is one of the best things you can do for a longer life."
"Make one of your favorite childhood meals, go on a bike ride, or play a game you played as a child," suggests licensed psychotherapist Julia Catlin. "You'll smile as you remember the good times."
Or anything that makes you laugh. Laughter relaxes the body, releases endorphins (the body's feel-good chemical), and improves blood circulation. One study of nearly 21,000 older people in Japan found that those who reported laughing every day were less likely to experience heart disease than those who rarely or never laughed.
"Eating wholesome, healthy foods can help keep your body feeling strong and energized," says Dr. David Seitz, medical director with Ascendant NY. "Try to incorporate more nutritious foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats into your diet. If you want to feel young and vibrant, fuel your body with nutritious, delicious food."
"Dance is an incredible activity that is both fun and energizing and will make you feel younger right away," says Catlin.
"Unfortunately, many people tend to underestimate the importance of getting a good night's rest," says Seitz. "Getting the right amount and quality of sleep is essential for feeling energized and alert during the day. So make sure to get at least seven to eight hours of sleep each night, as this will help you stay younger and healthier."
"Moderation allows us to live life to the fullest while also keeping us from going overboard and impacting our health in the long run," 100-year-old Dr. Howard Tucker, a neurologist in Cleveland, Ohio, who has been named the world's oldest practicing doctor, told CNBC. "I'll have a martini and New York strip steak occasionally, but not every day. We live daily and die once, so we must make the most of the time we have."
"One of the most effective ways to stay young is to stay connected with people who bring out the best in you," says Armenta. "Maintaining relationships with people who inspire and encourage you can help keep your spirits high and make life more enjoyable. Again, when you feel happy, it can have a huge impact on your overall well-being and help keep you looking and feeling younger."
"Happiness helps you look and feel younger, so make sure to make time for yourself and do things that bring you joy," says Seitz. "When you're happy and just feel good from the inside out, you will naturally look and feel younger."
"A strong sense of purpose means continuing to pursue goals and to feel life is worthwhile," says Harvard Medical School. "Explore interests centered on self-development, growth, and connecting with others."
"Cutting out sugar is one thing you can do immediately to feel younger," says Dan Gallagher, RD, a registered dietitian with Aegle Nutrition. "Our bodies were not designed to consume the large amounts of sugar that we do in today's world. Sugar is a driving factor for many diseases that will age you much faster. When you cut your sugar intake, you'll start to notice the difference almost immediately."
"My #1 top tip for adults to feel an immediate boost of youthfulness is to spend time with children and teens," says Dr. Fran Walfish, a psychotherapist in Beverly Hills, California. "Take them somewhere fun and be a curious listener. As open-ended questions to get into the minds of youngsters, their inner worlds and fantasies. My only word of caution for the exceptionally sensitive senior person is to be selective about the teenagers. Sometimes, it can backfire and make you feel out-of-date when they start name-dropping the latest music groups or dances and you're stuck back in the disco era."