Aging. What images come to mind when you hear that word? Do you embrace it? Try to deny it?
How does the idea of aging fit into your world?
Aging is a fundamental fact of being alive.
The reality is that from the moment we take our first breath, we are all aging. It’s a part of the human condition, and yet, depending on culture and perspective, we may approach and experience this fact very differently.
These 5 Timely Tips help reframe your view of your aging, so that you can truly be with yourself as you live your moments, days and years. I encourage you to integrate and implement these tips, because how you view the aging process will, to a large extent, define how you live it.
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.
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.
Don’t react with anger or frustration.
Encourage your feelings to flow, rather than 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.
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 gateways, 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.
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.
Aging is a part of our journey through time, and it can be a wonderful, creative, and inspiring adventure. Join me in making it so!© Copyright 2012 Paula Eder, Ph.D.