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Courteney Cox's New Motto Inspires Us to Age Gracefully

author image Deborah Day
Deborah Day is a lifestyle and entertainment writer and editor. Former editor in chief of and executive editor of, she has been published on,,, and other media sites, as well as in Maxim, Interview and Time Out NY magazines.
 Courteney Cox's New Motto Inspires Us to Age Gracefully
Courteney Cox speaks about “Friends” fame on the Monday, August 22, 2016, episode of “Running Wild With Bear Grylls.” Photo Credit: Running Wild With Bear Grylls/NBC

Courteney Cox admitted that she regrets some of the choices she made in her effort to stall signs of aging ― particularly in the form of cosmetic surgery. The former “Friends” star opened up about the perils of fame on the Monday, August 22, 2016, episode of Running Wild With Bear Grylls.

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“I think there’s a pressure to maintain [your looks], not just because of fame, but just, you know, being a woman in this business,” Cox told Grylls in the Irish Highlands. “Getting older has not been ― I don’t think that’s the easiest thing.

“But I have learned lessons. I think I was trying to keep up with getting older, trying to chase that ― it’s something you can’t keep up with,” the 52-year-old actress continued. “So the more you relax into it and the less I try ― because sometimes you find yourself trying and then you look at a picture of yourself and go, 'Oh, God. Like, I look horrible.’ I have done things that I regret, and luckily they’re things that dissolve and go away. So, um, that’s good, because it’s not always been my best look.”

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Cox, who most recently starred in “Cougar Town,” said she’s letting that go in favor of a new, more relaxed approach to aging. “Now I just have a new motto: Just let it be,” she says.

But the Older You Are, the Happier You Are

Cox has touched on something supported by science: There’s a paradoxical relationship between aging and happiness, according to a study released Wednesday, August 24, in the Journal of Clinical Psychology. The study collected data from 1,546 people ages 21 to 100 and found that the older participants generally reported being happier.

“The consistency was really striking,” said Dilip Jeste, director of the UC San Diego Center for Healthy Aging and senior author of the study, according to the Los Angeles Times. “People who were in older life were happier, more satisfied, less depressed, had less anxiety and less perceived stress than younger respondents.”

That happiness can be traced, in part, to a “been there, done that” stress response. Older participants in the study showed more subdued responses to stressful imagery, like a car accident.

Cox opens up to host Bear Grylls.
Cox opens up to host Bear Grylls. Photo Credit: Running Wild With Bear Grylls/NBC

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Dealing With Mean Girls and Guys

One thing the report might not have accounted for is ageism on social media, which Cox describes harshly.

“People can be pretty mean,” the actress said. “Now that they do all the social media, and the comments ― if I ever want to feel really bad about myself, I just click on one of those Daily Mail comment sections.”

Fortunately, Cox has her 12-year-old daughter, Coco Arquette, to counterbalance the hate.

“There’s certain parts about getting older that’s just fantastic: just watching my daughter go through, you know, the game of life,” Cox told Grylls. “I see so much of myself in her…. I have a great time with her. She’s at camp right now ― not doing near the adventurous things as I am. Not doing this.”

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What Do YOU Think?

Have you watched a friend or loved one try too hard to battle aging? If so, what form did it take ― too much surgery, wildly inappropriate choices in clothing or makeup or abandonment of major personal responsibilities like family or career? All of the above? Share your story in the comments.

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