Many of us worry about getting older; some of us more than others. This fear could stem from worry about our health, anxiety over how we will manage physically or mentally as we age or the dread of losing those we love as the years go on.
Put simply, many people suffer from stress, anxiety and even depression over the thought of getting old and how that process will impact their lives. Whatever the root cause of this fear, it can have an extremely negative impact on our health. The bottom line is that we are all ageing whether we like it or not and rather than becoming preoccupied with such worries, there are a number of ways to bypass our negative feelings about getting older. Having a positive perspective on ageing allows us to embrace it and the term ‘Mindful Aging’ sums this powerful and positive mindset beautifully.
Mindful ageing is not some new age gimmick but rather a more positive way to live life, by being consciously mindful in what we do and the way in which we live rather than being preoccupied with how many years have passed and how many we have left. The sooner we start practising mindfulness the better we can feel about entering our golden years.
So how can we begin to live mindfully?
Select the foods you consume wisely, fuelling your body with good nutritious foods and it will repay you by giving you energy and making you feel more alert and observant. Enjoy fresh vegetables, leafy greens and lean meats which are full of healthy nutrients, particularly iron and magnesium. Limit caffeine and avoid excess sugary foods because sugar leads to regular energy slumps which will make you feel lethargic and lifeless.
Rather than dwelling on those things you can no longer do quite so easily, actively search out types of exercise you can enjoy such as swimming and walking. As well as keeping your body fit and supple, exercise is also an excellent mood enhancer. Spend time outdoors enjoying fresh air, nature and your surroundings.
Quality sleep is vital to keep us well and active. Remember quality is far more important than quantity. Keeping active and eating well will also help you to achieve and maintain good sleep patterns.
Family and Friends
Being sociable is a natural part of human nature and as we grow older this becomes increasingly important because loneliness is the single greatest reason for depression, stress and anxiety among older adults. Retirement is often a very difficult period of adjustment because we lose the regimen of leaving the home at regular times each day and having interaction with others. Plan for how you wish to spend your free time post-retirement rather than leaving things to chance and waiting to see what comes along.
Challenges and Opportunities
Take up new hobbies and activities which you can enjoy either in a group or alone. Activities like painting and writing help to relieve inner stress. It doesn’t matter how good you are at your chosen activity, it’s less about the resulting works and more about expressing yourself and having fun with it!
Plan Trips and Holidays
Enjoy the wonders of the universe and never be afraid to seek out new places to visit and explore. Having things to look forward to is good for you and keeping your brain active by planning future experiences will keep it sharp. It doesn’t matter how far you travel because it’s less about the destination and more about the journey!
Ageing mindfully is not difficult. In simple terms, it is merely about seizing the opportunities that come your way and living in the moment. Make peace with the aspects of ageing that you are less keen on and cannot change. Shift your perspective to having a cup that is half full rather than empty and then you can embrace and enjoy all of the wonderful things that make your time on this planet so joyful and rewarding!