Think Growing Old Is a Pain? Here’s Why Aging Doesn’t Have to Suck

I’m 45 years old and still going strong. Yes, I am advancing in years. We’re all doing it. Do we, on the other hand, have to feel old? Is it true that getting older is a drag?

“Wow, I used to move like that,” “It must be nice to be still so young,” and “wait until you’re my age, you won’t be able to move like that,” and “wait until you’re my age, you won’t be able to move like that,” and “wait until you’re my age, you won’t be able to move like that,” and “wait until you’re my age, you won’t be able to move like that,” and “

I was taken aback by the comments and began to question their accuracy. I pondered if it was easy because I was still young, and if I would start to notice a slow deterioration in basic human mobility.

Will I start to feel every aching, agony, swelling, and discomfort that comes with change, or will I do everything I can to accept it and move with it instead of pushing and pulling against it? Aging can’t be all awful, and why should you feel bad as you get older?

My youth seemed to have an expiration date all of a sudden. Looking back, this was the spark for my future course of action, and I am grateful to each of those clients who pushed me to be more; more sensitive to myself, my body, and clients as they navigate their health and fitness changes as we all age.

It’s no surprise that many people devalue and fear the aging process in a culture obsessed with youth and flooded with pictures and messages on how to keep one’s youth and beauty for as long as possible.

It’s no surprise that terms like ancient, decrepit, old-fashioned, rusty, out of date, grey, inactive, fatigued, not youthful, over the hill, wasted, old fart makes us feel uneasy, unhappy, afraid, and tiny.

Remove your aversion to aging and replace “I am X years old” with “I am X years better, stronger, wiser, and more joyous.”

And if you have trouble believing that, it’s possible that you’ve been socialized to believe that aging isn’t always a bad thing.

Aging better entails stepping into each year with knowledge gained from the preceding. We don’t want to cling to the things that made us feel inferior.

Because of how that experience shaped us, we desire to modify and shift in order to live better lives. Remove the clouds, and you’ll be able to see and appreciate the magnificent changes and insights that resulted from the experience.

Aging does not have to be a drag. But, when it comes, perhaps we can take proactive measures to make it suck less. We all have our share of difficult stairwells to climb, but you must keep going.

As I approach my forties, I find myself thinking about one concept: life is school. Thank you for bringing that to my attention, Will Smith. Every situation, whether positive or negative, provides an opportunity for growth and transformation if you recognize it.

I’ve learned to like taking on new tasks and to see difficult times as opportunities to slow down and nourish myself and my relationships.

There is no way to turn back the clock, and the more we wish for eternal youth, the more frustrated and stuck we will remain.

You have the power to optimize each day and be the author of your life. Reframe the negative belief about aging and begin to view it from an optimistic lens.

It is time to refresh what it means to age and focus on positive aging words: experienced, seasoned, skilled, wise, venerable, timeless.

Related: How to Enhance Your Visual-Spatial Capabilities

Here’re 8 simple tips to age better:

1. Lean into Trust

During uncertain times, it is common to throw in the towel. As adults, stress can be overwhelming, responsibilities are endless, and life can feel out of control.

Take a step back, take 5-10 deep breaths, lean into the challenge without judgment, and trust in the situation’s unfolding.

2. Learn Something New

Make a list of all the things that make you happy, such as cooking, reading, sewing, weight training, woodworking, painting, and so on, and then make a plan to do them.

Because I enjoy cooking, I rotate a new recipe every two weeks. Don’t try to cram too much into your schedule. Choose one and stick to it every time. You can add more when you’re ready. 

Related: Seasonal & Occasions Quotes

3. Focus on Health First, Vanity Second

I enjoy exercising because it makes me look strong and sexy. When I feel strong and sexy from continuously nourishing and moving my body, however, I can still perceive the wrinkles and markings my two precious children have left on my body as beautiful; in any case, I still appear healthy, strong, and sexy. 

If you concentrate on the incorrect order, you will continue to grasp at straws and be unhappy. Write down two things you enjoy about feeling healthy and strong, then one action step you will take during the day to support that feeling. 

4. Move More

The muscles and bones in the body require movement and strength training. It also aids sleep, reduces stress and anxiety, and improves focus, energy, mood, strength, flexibility, balance, coordination, and mobility, as well as weight loss.

At each period of your life, the movement you choose will be different. And, depending on your present fitness level, it’s critical to alter your movement and fitness program.

To boost your activity, take tiny steps every day. Set your phone’s alarm to wake you up throughout the day. Take a few laps around the block, instead of taking the elevator, do push-ups while waiting for things to prepare, or stretch while watching TV.

Meet with a trained fitness professional who can assist you in developing a program that matches your present and future needs.

The main thing is to start small until it becomes second nature, then gradually increase the amount of time you spend on it. Be consistent, and the results will come.

Related: 12 Golden Lessons That You Can Learn From Failure

5. Recruit Your Inner Child

Have you ever followed a child around all day? They don’t stop. What do adults do? Sit more and move less.

We must maintain the flexibility, mobility, and strength in our bodies to minimize the effects of the natural aging process.

Buy a jump rope, hula hoop, play twister, or take a dance class online or in-person. Find activities that make you feel like a kid again, then take small steps to recruit that inner child.

6. Take a Step Back and Breathe

Are you aware of the advantages of breathing exercises? Breathwork interrupts the stress reaction, helping you to remain focused, clear, and confident in any situation.

Deep abdominal breathing boosts your mood, boosts your creativity, relieves stress and anxiety, promotes your intuition, boosts your immunity, and resets your body’s sleep cycle.

Every hour, I strongly advise you to practice 5-10 deep breaths. 

Related: How to Have Fun Parenting Teens and Help Your Children Succeed

7. Get Excited About Aging

Getting old might not be plums and roses all the time, but aging better, stronger, and fitter gives you a choice to live full out and is a privilege denied to many.

It looks different for each of us, but embrace the changes with grace and love, continues to challenge your mind and body, and have fun.

8. Stay Connected With a Social Group That Encourages Mental and Physical Growth

Assemble a group of like-minded people who will continue to push and inspire you to live and appreciate life.

When I find myself in a downward spiral of self-loathing, I take a breath, give myself grace and time to figure out why I’m there, and then ask myself if the ideas I’m having are true or just made-up stories.

If I’m at home, I’ll journal or meditate to rephrase negative thoughts into positive ones that will propel me ahead. I understand that it is easier said than done, but with enough practice, it will become second nature.

We often default to our usual answer rather than pushing into the challenge. When you find yourself hating something, you must adjust your default response.

Give your mind and body the attention they deserve. Call a buddy, go for a stroll, take a deep breath, or do your happy hobby.

As C.S. Lewis says,

“You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.”

Consider where you were before focusing on where you are now and where you want to go. It won’t look exactly the same, yet each age provides opportunities for discovery. 

Investigate novel approaches to problems. You may learn a lot from what has worked and what hasn’t worked in the past.

Maybe you’re relying on the same old defaults and expecting different outcomes. Change your defaults, and you’ll see things differently. Begin to age more gracefully.

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