The Art of Aging Happily
By Kirk Brechbiel
Aging is not something society tends to view in a particularly positive way most of the time; however, aging is a process to be celebrated as much as any other period in the full cycle of life. Below are a few insights to consider in practicing the art of aging happily.
Don't conform to age stereotypes. If you enjoy something, get out and do it. If health problems interfere, find ways to work around them and still get into the things that matter to you. Look at your future and plan for it actively. Socialize with young people as well as people in your age group to broaden your perspective and activity level.
Practice these principles of health. Treasure the health you have now and give it a boost by making sure that you stick to these principles:
- Healthy eating. You only have one body—respect it. As the cornerstone of your diet, focus on fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains. Quit unhealthy habits such as smoking, excessive drinking, and over-eating.
- Be active. There are plenty of sports ideal for the older body, and many of these can also involve being around other people (and beautiful scenery if you choose your exercising location well). Try sports like walking, yoga, and aqua aerobics to maintain an optimal fitness level.
- Practice a positive mindset. The healthiest older populations are those that live a contented, stress-free lifestyle. Being positive and grateful for what we have in our lives is a practice that can improve both your physical and mental health.
- Learn to meditate/pray. If you're not already meditating/praying, consider taking it up. It has been proven to be an amazing way to calm the mind and keep the body healthy.
- Read a spiritual or uplifting book for an hour each day. There are many good books that can inspire you regardless of whether or not you consider yourself religious or spiritual. Reading exercises the mind and imagination, and reading things that are positive elevates our mood to offset some of the cares and concerns that come with everyday life.
- Do positive things for others. This can be a period in your life when you have the time and opportunity to give back to others. Volunteering in any capacity where you feel you can make a difference can allow you to pass on your experience, knowledge, and skills to others.
- Cultivate a hobby. Pursuing a hobby or activity that you love is an excellent way to remain fulfilled and express your creativity.
- Spend time with friends. Whether through spiritual or social organizations, volunteer work, or other common activities, make friends and be social! Isolation is one of the key factors in depression for seniors, so make sure you seek out like-minded companionship.
Love an animal. The love, comfort, and connection a pet can offer is especially important for aging adults who may begin to have limited mobility. A pet can offset the
lessening of social interaction and the feelings of being isolated at home.
*For more tips for seniors, go to Ella Home Care at www.ellahc.com.