We all want to embrace life and face the years ahead with grace and courage, but it’s not always that easy to do. Fear about aging can rob you of everyday joys if you let it — so don’t! 

Aging gracefully isn’t about trying to look or act as you did in your twenties or thirties; it’s about maintaining your physical and mental health so you can enjoy where you are right now. The following six tips for embracing your future self can help.

1. Accept Your Age

There are some things in life you have no control over. Getting older is one of them. You’re not a kid anymore, but you have qualities and experiences that younger people are striving for. If you want to embrace your future self, start by embracing yourself in this moment, whatever your age.

2. Mind Your Mental Health

The thought of mental decline is understandably upsetting, but there are steps you can take right now to maintain good mental health throughout your lifetime.

A study published by the National Institute of Health shows that people who participate in leisure activities such as playing board games, dancing, gardening, and attending social groups have a lower risk for dementia. 

If work and family responsibilities forced you to give up the hobbies you once enjoyed, now is the time to revisit them — or find some new ones.

3. Take Care of Your Smile

Gum disease is linked to a host of health problems, including stroke, heart disease, and bacterial pneumonia, and yet oral health care is too often overlooked. 

Your dentist is an ally in healthy aging. Dentists are trained to detect warning signs of infection, diabetes, and even cancer before more serious symptoms emerge. In addition to regular medical care, regular dental care will help make your future — and your smile — brighter.

4. Build Intergenerational Relationships

Even if you don’t have grandchildren, it’s important to spend time with people from generations other than your own. Meeting in person is ideal when it’s possible, but using electronic devices to connect is also good. This can also help you practice your technology skills while enjoying the benefits of an intergenerational relationship.

Strong social connections help maintain physical and mental wellness. Younger people have much to share and can keep you engaged with modern life. Be curious and ask them questions when you’re together, and they will be more likely to do the same.

5. Look for Older Mentors

Find elders you admire and learn from them. Who do you know who is experiencing the kinds of golden years you hope to enjoy one day? Whether it’s a celebrity or a family member, learning more about their approach to aging will help alleviate some of your fears about the future. 

6. Drink More Water

What’s with all of the fuss about hydration? Making sure to get plenty of water isn’t just a fitness fad. New studies have shown how damaging dehydration is to your entire system and just how much of a difference proper hydration can make to your health.

Here are a few benefits to staying hydrated:

  • Increases brain function
  • Increases energy levels
  • May prevent or decrease headaches
  • Helps relieve constipation
  • Promotes good kidney health
  • Helps maintain a healthy weight
  • Keeps skin healthier
  • Reduces visible signs of aging

Exactly how much water you should drink depends on several factors, including your gender, how active you are, and how much you perspire. But the chances are good that you’re probably not drinking enough; most people don’t.

The future holds so many unknowns, but you are not at the mercy of the calendar. Follow these tips and remember that it’s never too late to start living the life you’ve always dreamed of.