Your birthday is fast approaching and you want to do everything to delay the coming of that day because you do not want to add another year to your age. Are you one of the terrified aging population that worry about getting older?
Aging people usually have anxieties because of different day-to-day concerns: a declining health makes it more difficult for them to move around and accomplish tasks; death of a partner or a close friend; retiring from work; symptoms of a chronic disease; physical beauty starts to fade; and many more. These fears brought about by getting older are valid and somewhat reasonable. But do not let your anxieties take over you.
Who would want to feel less valued and out of place in the same society you have lived for decades? One day you are top of your game, the next day you have been forgotten. The list of your worries about aging could go on and on and it won't seem to end. But you may want to stop counting worries and start counting blessings instead. Recent studies have found out that staying positive actually declines the speed of the aging process.
There is so much more in aging than growing grey hair, fine lines and wrinkles, or even losing teeth. And if you want to age gracefully, then you must stay positive through the years. We have listed the most helpful tips on how you can be more positive while aging.
Accept Your Age
With all the anxieties, the first step of resolution is acceptance - accepting what has happened and why it has happened. Breathe, close your eyes and see yourself, your present situation and your age to date. When you start to let your true self and age sink in, you will start to determine your real identity. You will know yourself more. You may find it a little difficult to accept that you are not as young as you once were, but just take that first step of acceptance and everything else will follow.
You have not lost your youth; you actually have gained experience, wisdom and other more meaningful things in life. It is not the end of your youth; this is just the beginning of a new chapter in life. Being youthful is not measured by how young your age is, but how sprightly your attitude is.
Celebrate Your Age
Once you have accepted your age, the next thing is to be proud of all your years of experience. Celebrate the number of years you have lived here on earth. You may say that you do not feel like celebrating your life because of some setbacks in the past. But hey, you still made it this far. Give yourself credit for being able to stand all the years of challenges. It’s no breeze to have come from so many life changes from childhood to adulthood. You have surpassed all those physical, mental and emotional tests. You have survived all those trying years and you have thrived to reach where you are right now. Celebrate your age by all means.
Defy Others’ Expectations of You
There is no golden rule about how an aging person should act or what she must do. Society has long set certain expectations to different age groups but always remember that just because it has been a custom it doesn’t mean it is correct. Teens do not always have to be troublemakers as seniors do not always have to be the feeble ones. Set these societal standards aside and just act just as how you feel like in living your own life. You can never please everybody so why try to do it in the first place? Do not constrict yourself of your own happiness or productivity just because you fear people will judge you. There will always be critiques and their opinions do not really matter. Focus on your own feelings and perspective because that is what matters most. If it makes you happy, do it. Live for yourself.
Surround Yourself with Positive People
The birds of the same feather flock together. It is hard to stay positive if you surround yourself with negative people. Imagine starting your day with your friend. Your positive friend will tell all good stories about how she is excited to do all the activities she has for the day while your negative friend complains about how difficult it was for her to sleep last night and wake up so early that morning. Positivity is like a ray of sunshine, when others emit positivity, you see, feel and imbibe it. Stay with friends who share the same positivity and avoid those people who do nothing but complain about their lives.
Grow Meaningful Friendships
It is said that life is not meant to be lived alone. And it is true that having companions in life makes it more meaningful. When you have identified the positive peers you want to surround yourself with, build a stronger relationship with them. They could be old friends, your children, your partner, your in-laws or just your neighbor. Life is better when you get to share it with people you truly value. And do not just count your friends and acquaintances in the past. You can always start new friendships. Old or new, nurture the relationships you have with others. These friendships do not have to take much of your time. Create meaningful relationships with your doctor during clinic visits, the local police office during his frequent patrolling, or your younger neighbors who want to mow your lawn during summer breaks. Not only will friends help you when the going gets tough, you will also have people to celebrate your victories with.
Avoid Negative Memories and Rumination
Ever experienced thinking of that mistake you have made 20 years ago? Self-assessment is healthy but if you continue to play that same scenario where you forgot your brilliant line during the most crucial sales report of your career over and over again, it is called rumination. Rumination is overthinking at its finest. It is going back to bad memories and dwelling on the pain it has caused you. It is like a person went back to memory lane and rode a merry-go-round - an endless loop of negativity. Be careful not to dwell in the past failures and try to focus on how you can make better decisions moving forward. Rumination is not only about the mistakes in the past. Negative thoughts about the future are also not healthy because it will only make you extremely anxious. When you think you are starting to feel this way, distract yourself with a morning walk, a visit to a relative or friend, shopping, baking, or whatever that will deviate your attention.
Stay Fit and Meditate
Go outside for a walk. Make a daily exercise routine and stick to that routine. Breathe fresh air. Nature gives a natural boost of positivity to people. Stay physically fit not just by exercising but also by making healthy eating habits. Always try to move around instead of just slouching on the couch. It is said that trouble is the friend of an idle mind, so make sure you make yourself preoccupied with physical and mental activities. But after all these physical movements, take time to meditate on a regular basis - that is every day if possible. Meditation has proven effective in staying fit and positive. A quiet time with yourself allows you to introspect and look deeply inside yourself. Only by knowing and fully understanding yourself you will be able to determine the things that will make you happy.
Introspect and Focus on Happiness
Introspect. This means that you take your time in examining how you process your emotions and decisions. Evaluate your past life decisions and weigh which decisions to make in the future. If you think of your past and believe that you failed because of the choices you made, it is never too late to try to rectify it today. Hope renews every morning. Change could still come as long as you live. Do not just quit and accept defeat. You may think that it is the dead-end and you may feel like you can’t turn things around. But don't you think you can always find a way? When you appreciate your faults they lose their power over you. Admit your wrong, move forward and always choose to be happy. Career. Money. Power. Fame. Those are the things that a person usually thinks of when it comes to measuring success. But later in life, most people realize that attaining happiness is the true meaning of success.
There are a lot of physical, physiological, psychological and emotional changes as a person ages. This is why the transition to this phase in life is not as easy as it seems. This is why staying positive through these changes will definitely go further. Not only will staying happy and positive will make you look younger; it will also have a great effect on your health. No one can ever control the natural process of aging but we can always control our perspective about it.
At any age, maintaining a positive outlook in life helps in a person’s total well-being. Happiness is a choice but to be more precise: it is not actually the happiness that we can choose, but we can always try to choose to stay positive at whatever life throws at us.