Getting a little older...
Feeling “old” can tend to come in waves.
I guess it depends on how old you are... ... but then again I have heard 20 year old's saying they are getting old!
One day you look up and realize that your friends (or you) are married. Or having kids or have had kids, or your kids are grown up!
Or... shudder... “you are making a living.”... gasp!
The good news is, this getting older business doesn’t have to mean getting, or feeling, worse.
In fact, the saying that “you’re only as old as you feel” is officially backed by science.
YEP! That’s right...studies show that negative attitudes toward aging can affect both your physical and mental health.
On the other hand, people with positive attitudes toward aging have improved cognitive ability the older they get.
Thing is, with endless products promising “anti-aging” benefits, the truth is we are getting mostly negative cues from our culture around what it actually means to get older.
How about we get ready to flip the script?
Here are 3 ways you can rethink what it means to age, so you can make the most of the years ahead of you.
Not sure about you, but for me personally, I plan to live well over 100 and plan to still be doing all I am doing today.
Like a fine wine, I get better with age!
Coz age is just a number and if you do what you can to look after yourself NOW, you will reap the rewards as you get older.
FIRST - Keep growing and learning Drop the idea that getting older means you have to give up on the things that interest you.
Rather, challenge yourself to practice hobbies and activities that you enjoy or try new things that you think you may enjoy. Maybe you’ve always been curious about playing the drums, but have never tried it, well join a group and see how it goes.
Did you used to love
to dance, but haven’t danced in a while? Join a group and commit to regular practices.
Brain teasers. Drawing. Woodwork. Writing. WHAT you spend time doing is less important than your dedication to doing it with intention and enthusiasm.
Never underestimate the power of self-development!
We need to keep learning!
The age old quote comes to mind - "When you stop learning, you stop growing. When you stop growing, you stop living!"
SECONDLY - think beyond yourself Whether it’s your daug
hter, grand-daughter, niece, sister, or friend, chances are there is someone in your life who is younger than you...and they are (whether you have thought about it or not) looking to you for an example of how to approach aging.
Is it a scary, shameful process that should be avoided at all costs?
Or is it a meaningful reality of life that should be welcomed with open arms and appreciated?
Be mindful about your words you use around the topic, including how you react to each emerging wrinkle or grey hair.
Younger ears are always listening!
You have the power to nudge them toward unconditional self-love at any age. How amazing is THAT!
THIRDLY - Be Grateful! Every laugh line and wrinkle tells the story of a smile.
Every gray hair is a badge of honor, proof that you have gracefully (or even not so gracefully) navigated life’s ups and downs.
The more confidence you build, the more comfortable with yourself you steadily become, wrinkles and all.
And a lot of all that stems from gratitude.
Developing a gratitude practice is super simple:
Just write down 3 things every day (either when you wake up or before bed) that you feel grateful for - big or small. Whatever you write down, let yourself really bask in the feeling of being thankful for them. And if you can't be bothered writing it down, then think about 3 new things you are grateful for each day - the main thing is that you truly feel gratitude for what you have.
It’s such a small habit, but it can have lasting effects, and can make a really positive difference in how you think about growing older.
And you know what, even science confirms it!
The more grateful you are, the longer your telomere's become!
Telomeres are the caps at the
end of each strand of DNA that protect our chromosomes, like the plastic tips at the end of shoelaces. Without the coating, shoelaces become frayed until they can no longer do their job, just as without telomeres, DNA strands become damaged and our cells can't do their job. Telomeres length shortens with age. The shorter your telomeres are, the sicker, slower and older your cells will get. Affecting the health and lifespan of an individual. Science lesson over - but interesting aye!
So yes, you will never be 22 again...but that’s okay!
I've learned a LOT since I was 22 and I feel more full of life and energy now at 48 than I did at 22!
So, how about, instead of coming from a place of “anti-aging,” we try to think about aging as simply a biological fact of life, which hello... it is!
You don’t judge someone for breathing oxygen, do you?
So why are so many of us so critical about the natural process of our bodies getting older? A process denied to so many!
How about we embrace and celebrate each year, make a stand for taking better care of ourselves and grow older with confidence and curiosity.
Coz not only do we deserve it! But so do those that are younger than us!
Oh and if you are wanting a bit of help in any of the above areas, watch this space. I'm busy working on something EPIC!