Generally, aging is considered a negative word. That's why the fear of aging is so big. But there are some other reasons. Let's take a look at some of those now:
We equate aging with decline.
We equate youth with beauty and vitality.
We love our independence and fear dependence.
We accept the cultural definition of aging and anti-aging.
Set yourself free from these negative beliefs
You don't have to be caught in that self-limiting, unhealthy approach to life itself. Let's answer each of these problems.
Some people thrive and get stronger and smarter as they age. It's a choice that you can make.
Many people (you probably know some) have their own beauty and vitality no matter how old they are.
Healthy aging means staying mentally, physically and emotionally fit, which means you get to keep your independence.
You get to re-define aging for yourself. Healthy aging, elegant aging and even athletic aging are healthy options for you.
This is actually a matter of choosing to be proactive instead of reactive--a creator/innovator instead of a victim.
You can make up your mind to master the challenge of growing older, so that you're truly able to enjoy the latter years of your life, with the freedoms you have worked so hard to earn.
How Do You Overcome The Fear Of Aging?
Now let's get down to the methods and skills you can develop, so that aging becomes a positive experience for you. Here is an overview:
Rise above the cultural/economic program
Keep in mind that I am a U.S. based author, so I know more about western culture than other cultures. You be the judge of what applies in your own culture regarding the fear of aging.
Elder care and medical care are very big business. And let's face it...the healthier you are, the less money these institutions and businesses will make off of you. You will get more support and encouragement for positive aging at the gym than at many medical facilities.
Pharmaceutical advertising, insurance sales and medical consultation is all based on the assumption that you will decline with age. Be sure and filter this input, and keep a steady stream of positive, affirming messages coming into your brain. Be your own coach and cheerleader!
Your doctor, your friends and your family are part of this cultural/economic program. With all of the best of intentions, they may encourage you to "buy the program," which includes giving up, throwing in the towel, and "agreeing" to decline.
The basic message of the economically-based cultural program is, trust your doctor more than you trust yourself, don't try to do too much, accept that you will decline and slow down with age, and accept that mental decline is just as inevitable as physical decline.
What these well-intentioned professionals, friends and family members don't understand is that if you believe that aging equals decline, then that's what you're likely to experience. However, if you believe that you can stay fit, healthy and happy all the way to the end of your life, then a healthy aging process is much more likely to happen.
Meet This 77 Year Old Grandma Power Lifter!
Decide how you would like to age
It's important to set your intention about exactly what you want as you move into your later years. Fear of aging includes thoughts, feelings and images of a negative future. This fear process actually makes these negative outcomes more likely to occur.
When you set a positive intention to age well, you are replacing this negative, fear-based program with a healthy one of your choosing.
Decide exactly what you want regarding:
Energy level--write out a description of the kind of energy you'd like to have. Then visualize it, and imagine how it will feel.
Activity level--list the kind of activities you would like to engage in, including fitness, athletics, dance, outdoor activities and travel.
a full description of how you would like your mental and emotional
capacities to be. See it in your mind's eye, and imagine how you will
feel when it happens.
Social connections--set a
powerful and clear (written) intention of how you would like your
relationships to be. Picture yourself having fun and feeling closely
connected with friends and family.
a clear plan in your mind for your financial well being, and write it
down. Then imagine yourself financially comfortable and secure.
is no guarantee that you will have exactly what you intend in this
exercise. However, doing this consistently will most certainly lower
your stress level, and it will definitely make these positive outcomes more likely.
Establish a daily practice of self care
This is where you go from reading and thinking to taking positive action. Make up your mind to get started today on these routines or your own variation:
Exercise--including a combination of stretching, strengthening and some kind of aerobic activity.
Journaling--begin keeping a positive journal in which you focus on all that is good, right and working in your life. This is easy to do, and so very powerful in its many positive benefits.
Socialize--join groups, make contact, and reconnect with old friends. Reach out to family members and organize get togethers. Uplifting social connections are essential to healthy, happy aging.
Meditate--the benefits of this are beyond measure. You don't have to be an expert, just do it in a way that works for you.
Never underestimate your ability to reach your goals. You can accomplish almost anything, one small step at a time. Overcome the fear of aging and age with elegance, style and energy.