For those who want to build a strong foundation for health & happiness
What’s your relationship to getting older? This can be an uncomfortable reflection for many of us, and one that unravels so many other topics such as our relationship with time, our purpose and potential, beauty, death, productivity, physical health and so much more.
Needless to say, there’s a lot wrapped up in it!
But whether we want to think about it or not, ageing is obviously something we can’t avoid, and shouldn’t. What we learn from personal growth is that consciousness and intention is everything. The more we become conscious of what fears, worries or judgements we’re holding within, the more we can neutralise their impact and start to make active choices that help us to feel happier, healthier and infinitely more powerful now and as we age.
The question of ageing ‘well’ is not about judging ourselves or the ageing process, but investing in practices we can implement immediately that will help us thrive in every year and phase of our life.
So here they are… 5 powerful things you can do right now to invest in your health and happiness as you age. These are based on the following question:
Prioritise peace (and reduce stress)
Stress drains the energy and happiness out of the best of us, and is an underlying cause of many major health problems. Think about all the things you used to stress and worry about that age has brought more perspective on? Now think about all the things that you’re stressing about now that the future you will likely tell you isn’t really worth it?
That’s not to minimise what you’re currently experiencing, but how we respond to something plays a massive part in the amount of stress we feel about it.
Consider the ways you can prioritise your peace now, not for some day in the future. What can you let go of? Where are you trying to control what isn’t yours to control? Where are you holding onto a stressful relationship or experience from fear of moving on? How can you prioritise your mental health and/or practices such as meditation and relaxation?
Find identity outside of work
A major part of the fear of getting older is the fear of becoming ‘useless’. This of course is a painful lie that is perpetuated by cultures that teach us that our self-worth and value is connected to what we are able to produce through work.
Remember, retirement is a luxury that many people don’t get.
That doesn’t mean the transition into a new identity without an active career wont be a hard one. But we don’t have to go ‘cold turkey’ and leave it to our future self to deal with.
The more we can detangle our identity and worth from our work right now, the less of a shock this transition will be in later life. It will also help us to create the life we desire now, with no regrets at the end! As we always hear, nobody gets to the end of their life wishing that they’d spent more time in the office.
LOOK AFTER YOUR BODY
This is an obvious one but it’s worth remembering. Exercising or moving our body and eating well isn’t simply because we ‘should’ or so we can get the ‘hot body’ we tell ourselves we need. It’s about building a foundation of strength for when we age. It helps us to keep our physical body and bones stronger, so we’re far more resilient when we don’t quite have the stamina that we do right now.
INVEST IN POSITIVE THINKING
Positive thinking isn’t about artificially sprinkling glitter on challenging situations or sitting back and simply hoping that everything will be fine. Instead it helps us connect with possibility and the many things that are actually in our control. Think of it like this, pessimism and negative thinking keeps us in a state of powerlessness as it feeds sentiments such as ‘what’s the point of trying’, ‘everything is doomed’ or ‘I can’t do anything about it’. We end up fulfilling our own prophecies. Why? Because if we aren’t willing to think that things could be different, we aren’t able to ask the critical questions of: How? And what can I do to change things?
Make a vision (and find ‘ageing’ role models)
As an extension of tip number 4, we can answer the ‘how’ part of ageing well by creating a vision of what we’d actually like to experience. As a coach, I know that goal setting and vision mapping is extremely powerful. How can we invest in creating the life we want if we don’t know what it looks like?
Due to the fact that we often shy away from considering our old age, many of us are missing out on the powerful opportunity to manifest what we desire. And what I mean by this is bringing our vision to life through intentional choices and actions.
Yes, money is a big one for when income inevitably changes. But what else? What relationships do you want to have? What experiences? What hobbies? Is there work or volunteering you will still want to do? What would this look like?
What can you do right now to start sewing these seeds?