Keep the Essence of Youth Flowing Through You

Youth is a fleeting and elusive property. It seems we spend the majority of our childhoods in a hurry to grow up, only to spend our adult lives trying to recapture the qualities of our past selves. How many times have you seen kids in the last month and envied their energy and marveled at their zeal for life?  

There is a lot that is beautiful — physically, emotionally, philosophically — about aging, and we shouldn’t rail against its inevitability. That said, just because we are well past the chronological limits of youth, that doesn’t mean to say that we can’t rediscover elements of it, or learn from its lessons. 

This isn’t a quest for any fabled fountain, but we can benefit from examining where we can adopt positive youthful attributes and attitudes. There are practices we can implement, and mindsets we can foster that help us to feel young while honoring our age. Let’s take a look at some. 

Maintaining Mindfulness 

This one may seem like the antithesis of youthful behavior, as who among us exercised mindfulness as a child? We lived in the moment and took it for granted that we could live freely and without limits. We don’t have that luxury as adults. Therefore, to be effective in pursuit of youthfulness, we must consciously take moments to check in with ourselves. 

Why is this important? Well, problems have a habit of sneaking up on us. Whether this is something as serious as illness, or just the signs of premature aging. While taking moments each day to review our physical and mental states won’t clue us in on the early genetic-level signs of cell damage, we can consider what aspects of our environment and lifestyle may contribute. Have we met our nutritional needs that day? Have we exposed ourselves to too much stress? Even whether we’ve adequately protected ourselves in the sunshine.   

This regular and focused mindfulness should not be adding additional pressure by berating ourselves for not acting responsibly. Rather, it’s about better understanding what our body, mind, and spirit need. It helps us to make meaningful plans for our ongoing self-care, in both the long and short term. If we are to maintain the essence of our youth, we have to be willing to explore our whole being, so that we know what is exacerbating the problems associated with age. 

Cultivate Curiosity

One of the central elements of youth is insatiable curiosity. When so much of the world feels new, we have a desire to explore it, to soak it up like a sponge! As we get older and gain more experience, we tend to lose that. Perhaps it’s a lack of time or the jaded opinion that we know all we need to know to be functional in our busy lives. Yet regaining the ability to discover something new about the world has the potential to spark joy and drives us to keep exploring. 

There are neurological benefits to this, too. According to a 2012 study by the University of Texas at Dallas, engaging in learning new skills improves cognitive functioning. The same study clarified that it’s not enough to just perform the tasks of the skill, we all must be actively learning something new. It can feel as though we don’t have time to spare but even just an hour a day following our curiosity can help to stimulate growth. 

Going down the rabbit hole of our curiosity can have knock-on effects that stimulate other positive experiences. There is evidence to suggest that learning a musical instrument, in particular, can be good for our mental health. Not to mention that it can be both an individual or group activity, which in turn can expand our social horizons. This in itself is important for maintaining youth, as socializing helps to stave off the loneliness that is believed to trigger age-related illnesses such as dementia. 

Open to Change

As we get older, there is a tendency to become somewhat set in our ways. This is not necessarily because we’re any less vibrant or interesting than we used to be. It’s more a side effect of maintaining a stable adult life and establishing what in our lives brings us comfort. We live in a stressful world — can we be blamed for exerting some small amount of control over our environment? However, one of the keys to keeping our essence of youth is to be a little malleable and open to changing our ways. 

Think about it. Kids don’t have much experience of the world and adapt to new information so that they can function effectively in society. They would miss out on so many possibilities, so many experiences if they were rigid in their mindset as they grow. We all must seek to apply the same openness of mind. Understand that the way we are currently thinking or acting may not be the most appropriate for the circumstances. Be willing to accept that any one of us might be wrong, and investigate what the alternatives are.  

This goes as much for our physical health as our spiritual and emotional wellbeing. Would making changes to an element of our lifestyles lead us all to feel better? We really are what we eat. Are we smoking too much, drinking a little too frequently, gaining more weight than is strictly healthy? We should be open to understanding why this isn’t working, and listen to others who may be able to help us adjust our activities and mindsets to minimize the associated risks. Positive change often leads to a willingness to make more positive changes. One of the best ways to retain youth is by accepting that no one has all the answers, but trying out new things to get learn them is the best part of aging.


While it’s not quite true that youth is wasted on the young, it can take some years to appreciate it. It doesn’t serve us well to pine for years past, but we can regain some positive elements of youthfulness. By adopting mindfulness, exploring our curiosity, and being open to change we can invigorate our minds, bodies, and spirits.