One thing about life is constant - Everything changes. From where we grew up, to where we work, to our goals, even the technology we use. Everything is constantly changing and we change as well.
September has been designated as Healthy Aging Month. This makes the perfect time to talk about the changes in our lives and embracing the changes that are occurring now in life.
As we grow older, we notice many changes in the way we look, our physical abilities, our senses, etc. We know that these changes will occur as we grow older. So why is it so hard to accept these changes sometimes? It's simple, sometimes it is hard for us to accept the new person we are becoming because we are holding onto the past. The person in our past is the version of ourselves we know best. It is who we have associated ourselves with for most of our lives.
Below are three insights that will help you to embrace who you are become and live your best life now:
What do you have now?
One of the core advantages of aging is experience and knowledge. A quote many of us have heard is that "experience is a very dear teacher." Yes, knowledge can be obtained in other ways, but experience truly is the best way to learn. As you reflect on what experience has taught you over the past several decades of your life you will begin to realize what you truly have now. Combine the experience with the memories you have made and what you have now in your life is truly priceless.
To give additional meaning to who you are now, share the gold nuggets you have discovered with others who are younger. The memories they create while being with you will add to your legacy.
Be grateful for the present
Gratitude is an attitude we all should embrace. It makes growing older much, much easier. One definition of “embrace” is to hold something close in one’s arms. The thing we must remember is to embrace this and every moment with gratitude. Studies reveal people who rank higher on gratitude scales are happier and healthier individuals.
May I recommend a possible activity to help cultivate an attitude of gratitude? Consider doing a 30-day gratitude challenge. Every day for the next 30 days, write down at least one thing you are thankful for. It can be as simple as being grateful for having hands, feet, food, clothes, clean water and a car. As you reflect on a few simple things you are grateful for, you will experience an increase in joy and happiness in your life. You will be happier with who you are and who you are becoming.
Embrace the changes
Accepting change is one of the most difficult things for people to do. When we are younger, change is hard, but it is easier for us to adjust. As we get older, change feels like it is restricting us from doing the things we enjoy. I recommend trying to practice accepting change on a daily basis. When you are forced to reschedule an appointment with a doctor, accept the change and move on.
The trick to change is finding the positives that can come from experiencing the change. For example, the appointment you rescheduled may give you more time to do a certain activity you love doing. There are positives to every change if you look for them.
Look at this time of changes in your life as a new season and try something new. Ask yourself, is there anything I want to change about myself or my surroundings? It could be a new haircut, new attire, a new restaurant or a home improvement. When it comes to physical ability, you may not be able to do the same things you did at a younger age. Ask yourself what you can do instead. Discover new things that you enjoy doing that adapt to the changes in your physical abilities.
Remember that change is constant and is not necessarily a bad thing. Neither is aging for that matter. Recognize the opportunity of this new chapter of your life and make a determination how you are going to make this chapter incredible. Reflecting on the past is very good to do as long as you don't try to live in the past. Create new and lasting memories every chance you get because every day brings a new opportunity for change!