Positive Ageing Skills can make Ageing Fun!
Contrary to what most folks think, most people actually become happier as we age into our senior years. Becoming free of of the many stressors involved in raising a family and promoting a career allows many seniors to pursue personal interests and to meaningfully reflect on their lives. They have time to volunteer for example, an altruistic activity known to boost morale as well as the immune system while increasing the happiness quotient.
It’s been found that what we feel and think about ageing actually determines how we age! Beliefs and expectations are important contributors to our health at any age but never more important than in our senior years. If we believe that ageing involves disability and unhappiness, for example that’s likely what we’ll get, owing to the powerful effects of the mind body connection. Many of us have bought into the media’s depiction of old age as an unfortunate occurrence which must be tolerated by both the individual and society rather than celebrated. Ageism is practiced by all ages, however when practiced by the very group it is aimed at – usually seniors – it’s effects can be devastating. As Ashton Applewhite notes in her book “This Chair Rocks” we need to “wake up…cheer up…and push back!” Other practices to combat ageism include becoming informed on the topic, integrating with all ages, activism including challenging our own and others’ beliefs, and a sense of humor on the very real changes and challenges that occur as we age.
Some other easy to learn skills which can make ageing healthier and more enJOYable include a gratitude practice, journaling and/or memoir writing, and adopting a new model of ageing such as “sage-ing” which can help us claim our wisdom and empower our stature as elders.
For more information on the topic and to learn how to claim your full stature as an elder, check out What’s so Funny about Ageing & Being Mortal: Challenging Perspectives on Ageing & Dying taking place on November 10th at the Cultural Center of Cape Cod.