Saturday, June 15, 2013

Healthy Aging, a Matter of Mind, Body and Soul

It amazes me how fast time seems to go by. Yet, each day can feel like an eternity. It’s all a state of mind really. Yet there are definite changes that happen through each stage of life. From the time we are born, when we learn to walk and say our first word, to our first day of school, to becoming a teenager, and then an adult, to owning our independence, having children, watching our children grow up, and then seeing them off to college, or letting them go to start their own families. Losing loved ones, or realizing that you don’t quite look the same or move the same, or even think the same. Change is inevitable. We grow older, hopefully wiser; and depending upon how we lived and loved our life, we change physically. Health is a very important part of aging. Health should be a priority at every stage of life – if you’re breathing than you life’s health matters. Part of managing life’s journey is learning how to age in a way that you can still feel healthy, happy, and alive through every transition. 

A lot of us don’t learn this until so many years have passed. Then we are desperately holding on to whatever “youthfulness” we can. We become scared, depressed, anxious, and feel cheated. I read a quote recently written by George Orwell, “At 50, everyone has the face he deserves.” I take that to mean that each one of us is who we are, and that to try and be something other than that is a waste of energy. We age into who we want to be. So if you believe that aging makes you old, useless, and lifeless, then you are that, and your face will show it. Or you can believe that as you age, each change or transition is just another part of you to explore and grow, and that too shows on your face – the face of youthfulness, being alive. Obviously acting on this can actually be more challenging than saying it. However, the only way around it is through it. “What doesn't kill you makes you stronger,” is truth.

How you think and feel will definitely impact how you age. How you eat and live will also impact how you age, and in turn how you think and feel. You need a healthy balance for every stage of life. As we age into our 50’s and beyond we need to modify our eating habits and our lifestyle in order to better serve our experienced bodies. We need to always exercise our brains, our spirit, and our bodies to keep them fluid and sharp. I’m sure most of you know of Betty White. She is definitely and older lady to look up too. She has aged gracefully and with love for life and self. It shows through her face, her eyes, and her smile. She may not move as quickly as she did when she was younger, but she still is sharp as a whistle and funnier then ever! I want to grow up to be an old lady like her, happy, radiant, and full of life!

It’s hard living life through all these incredible changes. I would be lying if I said it was easy, it hasn't been. Although it has definitely not been without its challenges, there is so much, and has been so much to be grateful for. Besides being healthy and alive, I have a beautiful family, great friends, and a great mind full of dreams and ideals. I do my best to keep myself healthy – with the occasional slip ups, and I try to keep the body moving, do my best to minimize the stress and drama of life, and laugh, laugh, laugh. Age 50 is just around the corner for me. I think I’m ready. “Life, bring it on! “ Healthy aging is a state of mind, body, and soul.
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