We are not human beings having a spiritual experience.
We are spiritual beings having a human experience.
~ Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
The concept of anti-aging may encompass many areas, approaches, and lifestyle attributes. I suppose due to the marketing influences, when we think and speak about anti-aging, typically anti-aging supplements and products are the first things that come to mind.
And, frankly, that area is where my anti-aging interests first originated some 15 years ago.
As my body of knowledge and experience in the field expanded, so did my philosophy and methods.
It is evident to me now that the anti-aging supplements, as effective as some of them truly are, are the tip of the iceberg. The pyramid below depicts the framework I now use to approach the anti-aging lifestyle and priorities.
Certainly, I do not view the spiritual component as for anti-aging only, it is a part of the overall path and growth. Nevertheless, no anti-aging journey is complete without it.
MIND and body
Science is a common denominator for everyone regardless of what they believe in.
So, let's start by pointing at psychosomatic reactions. Emotional trauma, prolonged stress, anxiety, and anger, unresolved inner conflicts, unresolved negative emotions, including those shoveled to the cellars of the subconscious mind, eventually manifest in the physical body, first as a dysfunction, and later as a diagnosable disease.
Just some scientific data that speaks of that -
What approaches do I place in this layer?
There is no one-size-fits-all with the mind and spirit, but everyone can find something that works for them.
If you are feeling a little adventurous and care to venture into psychology and metaphysical world, works of Carl Jung, Edgar Cayce, Vadim Zeland, to name just a few, and even New Testament all contain references to the importance of spiritual and psychological health for the lifespan and health of the physical body. If you adhere to materialistic views, then just disregard this paragraph.
This is a much more straightforward part. While there are different healthy diet preferences, and different sports, exercise and physical activities, everyone will agree on the importance of keeping one's body in a good shape.
These are the ones that people typically think of when talking about anti-aging. Yet, they are not going to be very effective if the first two layers are amiss.
The break-down of the activities and approaches given above is not necessarily clear cut. My objective was to convey the model I apply and to highlight the importance of looking at a bigger picture, beyond just the anti-aging supplements and biohacking, rather than to provide a precise classification.
For example, taking an Omega-3 supplement may count as both a healthy lifestyle and an anti-aging extra effort. Doing yoga may be a part of the physical activity and a healthy lifestyle, but may also contribute to the peace of mind and spiritual health. Fasting spans across all three layers.
As a side note, the field of medical aesthetics with its multitude of face, skin and body rejuvenation treatments, for the most part, can be and is also referred to as anti-aging.
I consider that area "rejuvenation treatments" and did not include it into the anti-aging framework. Still, rejuvenation treatments make many people happy (and that is what counts), and there is a lot of face, skin, body aging and anti-aging information at Medical Aesthetics Information Platform and Solutions.
If you have no preference where to start with your anti-aging efforts, I would suggest starting at the layer of the spiritual and psychological health, whatever your preferred tools are.
If the "mind and spirit first" approach is not for you at this point in life, like it was not for me 15 years ago, start (or continue) whatever aspect you feel like the most right now, because that is your inner guide as to what the best place for you to start with is.