Updated: Aug 31
How Positivity Can Help You Age Slowly and Gracefully
If you’re lucky, aging is going to happen to you. It’s a natural part of life, but that doesn't mean it's always easy. For example, you may notice signs of physical and mental decline as you get older, which can make you feel discouraged and unhappy. If you didn't know, being unhappy or depressed is one of the most significant factors contributing to early aging.
This happens because your stress hormones, like cortisol and adrenaline, will start to increase in your body. Unfortunately, these hormones are responsible for many adverse effects on the body, including increased inflammation, weight gain, and impaired brain function. Fortunately, a simple way to help yourself age gracefully is by cultivating more positivity in your life. Plus it's more fun!
1. Recognize What You Have - even the smallest thing
A big part of aging gracefully is learning to appreciate your life experiences and the people you love. Take some time each day to reflect on what's good in your life - whether it's a long-term relationship, a great job, or just the fact that you woke up healthy this morning. Gratitude is one of the strongest positive emotions, so focus on those things that bring you happiness and satisfaction.
Starting with the smallest thing or thought, build out the list. Dwell on it for awhile to start off the day. (Once I had a friend who was trying to find the thing that was highest on his grateful list. He said: 'I know! I don't own a parrot!'. The moral here: Whatever works to set off gratitude can't be bad.
2. Find Little Ways to Stay Active
Regular, but constantly enjoyable, exercise is another critical way to maintain physical health as you age. That means doing the 'Goldilocks" Amount - just not a chore. Last blog we said you start with the body (mind muscle memory). Have your mind register the pleasures of this Goldilocks approach and keep reinforcing the pleasures of it. Record it if it helps.
Not only does it help you build strong muscles and bones, boosts your mood, and helps you feel more confident about your body. In addition, find playful activities that make you feel happy and fulfilled. Currently, paddleball is the rage to do this, and do it with others.
3. Connect With Others to Merge 1 and 2 together
Another important way to stay positive is by reaching out to friends and loved ones. Especially when you select those that help you pull 1 and 2 together within your day. Habits that are positive then become easier to increase well being each day of your life.
Spending time with others can help lift your mood and make you feel happier overall, which will help counteract the negative effects of stress hormones in your body. With technology, this can be done in so many easy ways. For example, you could call a friend on the phone or even have a face-to-face conversation using video chat or play a video game together.
4. Be Mindful
Finally, one of the best things you can do to stay positive and age slowly is to practice being more mindful. Pay close attention to how you're feeling in each moment, as well as how you respond. By being aware of your thoughts and emotions, you will be better able to shift your mindset when negative feelings arise - which can help prevent them from building up into a more significant issue over time.
As each day winds down, look back to renew the feelings of being grateful. Even a few days of repeating this will change you. Cultivating positivity throughout your life is one of the best ways to keep yourself happy and healthy as you age - it's also an important strategy for staying youthful and energetic no matter what stage of life you're in. Start making positivity a habit today, and you'll be rewarded with a beautiful aging journey ahead. Remember, retirement is related to aging, not the result of it or the cause. Your choices are the driving force.
5. Build Resources vs Scarcity
When you sense scarcity it's tough to be positive. Stay alert to these feelings to go back to step one. Be grateful again!
As you go through the week, use this sequence: Manage Time, to Increase Health, to Enhance Relationships, and Create New and Better Resources. You can find out more about How to use this sequencing at the other tabs in the Website. And you can also use some ideas about positive psychology from Martin Seligman, the famous author of Positive Psychology. Here's a link to find him: https://ppc.sas.upenn.edu/
When you do I'll bet you feel better right away, no matter how you feel right now. Please call me either way to share it!
Happy Days Ahead
Joe Grant, MBA
Certified Retirement Coach
Contact me for a Free 45 minute Consultation at https://yourvantagepoints.com