How Old Do You Want To Be?

Is “Old Age” Just A Mindset?

vimage03You see people all the time who are technically “old”, but whose physical appearance, attitude, and posture make them appear to be decades younger than their birth certificate would indicate.

You see people who are only 40 to 50 years old that are ready for the retirement home and people who are in their 90s’ who are still going strong.

What is the difference between these two groups of people?

Many people have overlooked the power of the mind, relationships and a positive attitude when it comes to the aging process. Those of us who continue to lead active lives with many social contacts and intact relationships with loved ones often have a positive outlook on life and a mindset that they are still young. They may participate in sports or otherwise be physically active, eat out, and enjoy life long after others have given up and head to the rocking chair.

A positive attitude is everything when it comes to getting older gracefully. If you grew up in an era where “old age” happened when a person reached the age of 50 years, then you will arrive at old age when you hit your fiftieth birthday.

You may have a tendency to turn down opportunities for physical and social activity, increase the times you are sedentary and stop actively challenging your mind. When this happens, you’ll be “old” and you’ll start to lose what you stop using.  You’ll physically and emotionally age much faster than those who maintain active relationships and a physical lifestyle.  You may start to feel just too old to participate in these activities.

How do you get into the mindset of feeling young again?

Fortunately, attitudes can be changed.  And it’s probably never too late to develop a positive attitude.  The first thing you need to consider is that age is just a number and that there are many people much older than you who are doing things you have started to think of as “too old”  to do without difficulty.  People who are still active and look younger than their years consider “being old” as too difficult.

These are people who have refused to give meaning to the calendar and who continue to participate in physical activities, bearing in mind that being active and taking care of their body takes precedence over almost everything else. They are staying mentally alert, curious about life, and haven’t given up trying new things to challenge themselves.

Compare these folks with people you know who complain about aches and pains, avoid doing fun and challenging activities, and prefer being sitting on the porch to being more active.

The second thing to do is to look for something positive in every situation.  If you can find a positive outcome, you’ll feel less stress and be a happier person.  Try to avoid people who are just naturally pessimistic and look for a bad outcome in everything.  Attitude is an individual thing and you will find it very difficult to  change their attitude if they’re not willing to be positive.

What kind of person do you want to be?

The difference in aging truly starts with your mindset. If you decide that your body and the way you live is worth caring about, then you’ll want to take care of yourself, challenge yourself and you’ll have no difficulty seeing yourself as a younger and vibrant person.

Your risk of disease caused by stress will be less and when you carry yourself better and think of age as just a number, you’ll feel less stress in your life.  If on the other hand, you dread your birthdays and see the passing of each year as one less you have to live, your motivation and determination to feel and look young will be diminished and you’ll show that mindset when you interact with other people.

If your ancestors lived long and healthy lives, hey, it’s hereditary, take comfort in knowing that you’ll probably live a long time too, and you can carry that youthful mindset through your middle and older aged years.  Even if your ancestors did not live long and healthy lives, consider the medical advances that focus on prevention and management of diseases that are on your side so that you can continue be active and feel young well into your older years.

Don’t forget that age is just a number and it doesn’t dictate how a person should feel or act.  So act your age, no matter what it is.