Do you ever get distressed when you think about getting older? Is it because you’re fighting the aging process, rather than enjoying your maturity? Are you basing your beliefs on society’s notion of old age and buying into the notion that aging means more pain, more illness, less energy and more problems? Start over this New Year with a different attitude and motivation to overcome the stigmas.
If you answered yes, then it’s time to change your thoughts and reinvent a new, improved aging experience.
Attitude is the key to aging gracefully. If you don’t feel your age or act your age, then your age is just a number, and nothing more. A good attitude about aging means you believe that you have some control over what happens to you and that with that control, you can make a positive difference in how your life unfolds.
Here is an example. Hazel is an 87 year old woman who just found out that she has rheumatoid arthritis, a debilitating condition that would ultimately leave her unable to walk. However, for Hazel, this means that she shouldn’t give up or give in. Hazel believes that for as long as she is able, she wants to get out, stay independent and remain active. She decided she was not going to let this get her down or immobilize her. She says that she could easily sit home and do nothing, like a lot of her friends at the retirement community, but she doesn’t want to become like them. Hazel’s philosophy is to continue visiting friends, doing her shopping and enjoying her day. At 87, she is still committed to living her life, without pity, without fear, and without limitation.
What can you learn from this? It’s all about how you perceive what happens to you that counts and that no matter what your age, you are in charge of the decisions that impact your life.
The following are some things you can do to be more resourceful and vital as you age:
- Keep your thoughts directed on lifelong learning and personal growth to keep your mind alert and active.
- Maintain a sense of purpose and make your goals realistic and achievable.
- Believe that life is to be lived and that you are entitled to fun, frivolity, silliness and pure joy.
- Keep yourself attuned to your body, by practicing healthy eating strategies and physical activities to maintain good health.
- Build a strong support system, so you can rely on others to help get you through difficult times.
- Enjoy a healthy and hearty sense of humor.
- Pace yourself and find time to smell the roses.
The thoughts and feelings you have about aging are the basis of the strong beliefs that either limit or encourage you. Therefore, make a conscious decision to change the way you think and feel and you will notice that your behavior changes in the direction of success and not sabotage. This is one of the major keys for aging gracefully – keeping a healthy attitude about the bumps and obstacles you meet as you journey through life.
About the Author
Amy Sherman has a master’s degree in counseling/psychology and is the founder of the Baby Boomers’ Network, which focuses on helping boomers navigate through the challenges of midlife. She is also the author of “Distress-Free Aging: A Boomer’s Guide to Creating a Fulfilled and Purposeful Life” and co-author of “99 Things Women Wish They Knew Before Dating After 40, 50 and Yes, 60!” She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or http://www.yourbabyboomersnetwork.com.Sharing is Caring!