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Jennifer Aniston, 44, stays youthful by living in the moment and staying open to new experiences.

I recently had a conversation with a friend whom I attended college with back in the late 80’s and early 90’s. While listening to her talk about her life, I couldn’t help but be struck with how old she seemed to be. We are about the same age, hell she’s a year younger, yet everything about her suggested that she was 20 years older. She was tired, weary and somewhat out of touch with the world outside of her immediate family. This conversation was in stark contrast with the daily talks I have with the girlfriends I’ve made when I attended graduate school from 2005 to 2007. After giving it some thought, I came to realize that there are some things, or habits of women in their 40’s that really do age us and not in a good way.

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Catherine Zeta Jones, 43, has said, there is a time and place for children and pets, in the bed where she sleeps with her husband is isn’t it, and therefore is off limits to them.

Children will age you, if you let them.

Stress is a killer, a wise man once told my fiance, and you know what, it’s the truth. Children can be a wonderful source of happiness and fulfillment, but raising them can cause us the greatest amounts of stress we’ll ever know. As your kids go through the various stages of growing and maturing, it’s easy to be sucked into having your life revolve around them. From conversations I’ve had with many moms, I know this is a huge mistake. You have to work on building a life that defines who you are aside from being a mother. Maintaining relationships with good friends, actively pursing hobbies and fostering the best romantic life you can achieve, all leads to mothers being happier people. When you are fully engaged in the totality of your life, you are less likely to react in an unbalanced way to stress caused by your children and therefore slow down aging.

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Jada Pinkett- Smith, 41, posts regularly on facebook and twitter as a form of expression for her musings on just about any topic.

Being disconnected from technology and social media are indicators of oldness.

I will confess that I’m not the biggest fan of gadgets. Often times nothing gets me hotter than a smart cell phone or a smart TV that’s not smart enough to do something simple. I do recognize however, that we live in a day and age where cell phones, facebook, twitter and the like are all a permanent part of our society. Everyone can decide just how involved they want to be in social media or how to use these tools so they best fit into and enhance their lifestyle. Pretending they don’t exist or ignoring their value is a clear ticket to out-of-touch ville, aka being old.

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Jennifer Lopez, 43, believes that when one door closes another one opens.

Holding on to past hurts and disappointments will age you emotionally and physically.

There are some women that I know who when ever we speak they talk about things that hurt them that occurred almost 20 years ago. For some, the past is always with them. When you hold on to the pain or disappointment caused by the wrong doings of others, you leave little room for emotional growth and healing. Often times you can’t get someone who has wronged you to admit to what they’ve done or to make amends. Holding on to old wounds only serves as a function to keep you stuck in a place where you feel powerless and victimized. If you don’t let go, you are more likely to suffer from depression and have a more pessimistic outlook on life, both of which will surely age you and cloud your perspective.

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Madonna at 54 is the ultimate change artist and the mother of reinvention. For her, age ain’t nothing but a number.

Things change and so should you if you want to remain vital and vibrant throughout your life.

In the end, the central theme here is change. You have to be adaptable and willing to embrace change when it comes. I find that unfortunately for the women who aren’t flexible in their outlooks on life and how they live, they tend to look older than their age. Women who acknowledge change and even prepare for it by staying current in all aspects of their lives are usually the ones who look terrific regardless of their age.

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