Use it or Lose it – Part 3
The importance of Social Interaction and a Positive Mindset on Aging
Aging can be a challenge physically, and mentally. It can even be quite frightening at times. Media tends to barrage us with messages of preventing the natural process of aging, further instilling the fear that so many of us face. The fear of “getting old”. What we don’t always take in to consideration though, is how our mindset towards aging and how our social life can have major impacts on our overall well-being as we go through the aging process. Our thoughts alone can impact our physical and mental body, and our relationships with others can also play a vital role in our well-being.
Mindset is everything at all stages of life. There have even been studies on how a positive mindset has the ability to effect us at a cellular level…for the good! Aging is inevitable, our physical capabilities will begin to decline with time, and for some, memory will as well. It is a scary thought. But how can we approach this? One way, is to view our aging as a gift, a privilege, and a challenge we are up for. Growing older can truly be a blessing, and our attitude towards it can make all the difference. How can we go forth with a positive attitude towards our own aging? Here are just a few ideas…
-View it as a privilege that many were not as fortunate to have.
-Continue to be grateful for the things you can do.
-Celebrate your age, and the wisdom you have gained along the way.
-Keep your mind sharp. Never stop learning! Read books, attend current event discussions, listen to podcasts or talk shows, try brain teasers or other puzzles. You CAN teach an old dog new tricks!
-Adopt the “positive aging” mindset. Again, this is a privilege and a normal, healthy part of life that you do have control over. And if there is something that feels out of your control, you still have control over your reaction to it.
Social engagement and relationships also play such an important role in our well-being as we age. It is not unlikely for feelings of loneliness, depression, anxiety, or a feeling that we have lost our sense of purpose to creep in. Our relationships with family, friends, and other social groups help combat those feelings.
Some ideas for socialization could be:
-Join a club that is geared toward a hobby you already have (book club, knitting club, bird watching, card games, FITNESS CLUBS, the list goes on!)
-Try out some new hobbies. It is never too late to try or learn something new.
-If you feel that you are lacking a sense of purpose, volunteering your time to a cause you feel strongly about could help you regain your purpose again.
-Carve out time with a close friend or family member and make it a regular occurrence. Start a new tradition.
Socialization can be such a major player in our well-being and also to allow us to have that feeling of something to look forward to. Along with a positive mindset, we can begin to see that “age ain’t nothing but a number” and as we move along down the line, we are limitless in what we can achieve. You are still the same person you’ve always been!
Written by: Rebecca D.