Aging is a fact – we all get older. But sometimes it can be harder to cope than others.
FEELING THE YEARS
As time goes by, it’s easy to feel sad and negative. Maybe you can see your friends aging. They no longer seem to want to do the things you used to enjoy together – maybe they no longer can, because of illness or infirmity. The older you get the more likely it is that friends will die, leaving poignant gaps in your friendship circle.
You may be aware of many things you’ve lost – opportunities wasted, dreams that didn’t come true, projects that have failed, people that have disappeared from your life etc. Each time something like this comes to your attention, aging can seem a problem.
But it doesn’t have to be like that. There are many things you can do to keep your spirits up. Aging, as with so many things, is a state of mind. Change your outlook and feel youthful once more.
FOCUS ON THE POSITIVE
As with so many things in life it is all too easy to dwell on what’s wrong rather than what’s right. Our brains are hard-wired to seek out the negative. This may be a survival programming, to do with reacting to threat. If you are prepared for danger then you are more likely to overcome it. However, in so many present day situations that negative outlook is counter-productive.
Try to see all the advantages of aging. You have increased wisdom and experience. Probably you have achievements and greater security than you had when you were younger. There are some challenges you won’t have to face, some ways in which you have proved yourself that will stay with you. Be grateful that certain stresses are a thing of the past.
Try also to be grateful for what you have, for the health, strength and abilities you still possess. Although it isn’t usually a good thing to compare yourself to others, it may help to remind yourself that many people are much less fortunate than you are. There are so many things to be joyful about – focus on these.
ALWAYS HAVE A CHALLENGE
Getting older may bring more leisure, which can be very pleasant. But it is all too easy to stagnate, and before you realise it, your mood drops and you can begin to feel down and negative.
Make sure you always have something to aim for. Stretch yourself physically and mentally. Try new things, learn new skills, go into unfamiliar situations. There are still talents you have that you may not even have discovered. You can still grow as a person and take a different viewpoint.
One of the hardest things about aging is when you wake up, look in the mirror and despair at all the lines and bulges. But try not to compare yourself with a twenty year old. There can be a different kind of beauty in an older face and body, so don’t give in to the cult of youth.
Make sure you eat healthily and exercise regularly. Always take care of your appearance and draw attention to your good points. You can look good and be attractive whatever your age.
LET GO OF YOUR ASSUMPTIONS
People often hold assumptions about what it means to grow older, what will happen – and not happen. These are very often totally wrong. It is the nature of youth to disparage age. When we are young we have a faith and freshness, and deep down inside older ways of looking at things can feel limiting. Without that rebellious feeling young people would not bring the new energy needed into the culture.
However, very often young people get it wrong – especially when it comes to aging! Here are a few things that aging does not mean:
- Your mental abilities don’t necessarily decline
- Physically you can still be fit and active – plenty of octogenarians run marathons
- Sex and romance can continue well into the senior years. Plenty of people in their sixties are more sexually active than ever, and some surveys suggest that eighty year olds also enjoy their sex-life
- You can still change, evolve, grow and take on board new ideas
So never assume that you’re past it. Never let the words ‘I’m too old for that’ pass your lips – unless you secretly want to get out of it, of course!
USE IT OR LOSE IT
Keep going with all the things you enjoy. It is true that if you stop doing something, physically or mentally, you will find it hard to start up again as you get older. However ‘hard’ does not mean impossible. Oil the wheels and give them a chance to get turning again, whatever the activity. It may take a bit longer than it did twenty years ago, but after all, you’ve probably got more patience now!
HOW WE CAN HELP
We’ve examined the issue of feeling the years, moving on to focusing on the positive, having a challenge, getting physical letting go of assumptions and use it or lose it. There are so many things you can do and ways you can alter your attitude to see aging in a positive light. However, sometimes it can be a real struggle. For instance if a friend or partner dies, or if you have significant health issues, you may find aging especially difficult. For times like this our encouraging Readers are always available with wisdom, new perspectives and helpful words, so don’t delay. Call us today and feel young again!
PUBLISHED: 13 April 2017