There are no two ways about it; aging starts with attitude and perception, which means aging is all in the mind. I remember vividly an ex-friend crying into her wine that she was now officially ‘old’; it was 40th birthday. It got worse. From then on every ache, pain and physical hiccup was put down to her age. You can see why she isn’t on my Christmas list anymore………………….
Self image and self esteem become particularly important when it comes to aging, both are related to the psychological issue of how we see ourselves. If we believe our value and gorgeousness is bound with the calendar, then we are quite frankly stuffed, as each wrinkle and age spot appears.
Aging is about far more than ‘miles on the clock’. If you want to be at least be comfortable with your age if not actually happy, you firstly need to understand how you perceive the aging process.
You need to catch those thoughts that stop you; ‘I can’t do that at my age’ or I’m too old’ as they wander across your inner landscape; you need to notice and challenge them. Obviously it may be appropriate to ponder one’s actions (think micro skirts in public; however even that is subjective – to some). The NLP challenge of “who say’s” needs to be made so you question automatic responses.
I can honestly say, I don’t consider my age to be a factor in anything (I am a conservative dresser with fairly chunky legs, short skirts have never been on my agenda). There are, of course ,things I simply don’t want to do, which is fair enough but they are not because I was born in the fifties.
As many have the belief is that aging is worse than the alternative, then a different meme needs to be fostered in society.
A big ask?
Yes definitely but worth it? Indubitably.
We need to encourage whole generations bringing up the rear to embrace aging with more positivity. Whilst this may sound very Pollyanna-ish especially from an aged individual, we need ask whether the current pervading attitude of age equals illness, depression, boredom, powerlessness, is serving us?
The change starts with you and me.
As we are living longer we need to redefine what getting older represents and expect better outcomes with each passing decade then we do at present.
Individuals and communities need to have a very different beliefs about aging. Once we believe we can age well and enjoy the third age, then there will be a seismic shift if how we look after ourselves now.
But what is the very first step?
Accept that aging is all in the mind and learn how to think about it differently.