Aging is a process that we are all engaged in from the moment of our birth.
As we move through our developmental stages, we see our aging through a variety of perspectives. In youth, we are often eager to accumulate years. But as we get older that changes and we wish that we could slow the process down.
Here are 5 timely tips to keep in mind as you journey through time. As we get older, it is increasingly important to appreciate the process and experience of aging.
Aging: 5 Tips for Your Journey
1. The process of aging occurs over time.
Aging may sneak up and surprise you! Rather than worry, review the last few months. Can you identify the incremental changes in your efficiency? Use your new clarity to understand that these changes are a natural part of living.
2. Avoid denial.
Compassionately and directly confront the realization that you move more slowly, and that it takes you longer to complete even familiar activities. It’s a temptation to deny the reality of these life changes, and to tell yourself that things will return to their normal pace once you are less tired or stressed. However, this keeps you on the defensive. Instead, assert positive control by listing those tasks that now take you longer to complete. Then strategize accordingly.
3. Don’t react with anger or frustration.
Encourage your feelings to flow, rather than leaving them to churn in whirlpools. Staying stuck in anger or frustration diverts valuable energy from examining how you can adjust to your new pace. Instead, use your creativity and challenge yourself. Craft new and enjoyable ways to maintain your desired productivity, while accepting that the time required overall may be longer.
4. Don’t stay stuck in grief.
Grief, too, needs to flow and then make way for the new. If you associate high productivity and accomplishment with self-esteem, you may initially feel like you’ve ‘hit a wall’ as you slow down. However, aging opens new vistas, if you look forward, not back. As you genuinely accept your real losses and honor your accomplishments, frame this as a time to stretch, savor, and celebrate what truly matters.
5. Use humor.
Humor humanizes. Try to approach your friends’ complaints about the changes to their productivity with empathy and a humorous anecdote of your own. Negative attitudes are highly contagious, but a pragmatic view, softened by humor, creates an environment of acceptance.
I hope that these tips provide stepping stones for you.© Copyright 2013 Paula Eder, Ph.D.