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Aging- Is It All In Your Head?

by Arman Ali
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Aging- Is It All In Your Head?

How you think can have a great effect on how you feel. One of the most powerful ways to fight the effects of aging is to pay closer attention to your state of mind. Do you picture yourself as “old” and “over the hill”?  Or do you look at your retirement years as a golden opportunity to finally have the time to do all the things you have always wanted to do? The choice is yours.  What will your mindset be? Here are some ways to help your mind with aging. 

Challenge Yourself Mentally

When you were in your twenties, it seemed that there was a great deal of emphasis placed on gaining an education and increasing your knowledge base. For some reason, that is not the case as we grow older. It is as if you think you have learned all that you need to know and that there is no need to put forth any effort to go beyond that.  Nothing could be further from the truth. Never has there been a time in the history of the earth, when the opportunity to learn and grow has been so readily available to everyone, no matter their socioeconomic level. The internet has become the great equalizer. Knowledge is there for the taking. The greatest challenge is to narrow your focus down to a specific topic or area.  

Learn a New Skill

Have you always wanted to know how to speak a new language? There are free apps like Duolingo and paid programs like Rosetta Stone that will have you speaking fluently in a matter of months. Do you wish you understood the culture of the native Amazon peoples? YouTube videos of those who have traveled to remote areas and encountered fascinating tribes of native peoples are easily available with just a few clicks. Want to learn how the human heart works?  Many universities offer free online classes that you can sign up for. Painting, photography, accounting, tax preparation, singing, dancing, snowshoeing, and survival preparation are just a few of the topics you can become an expert in from the comfort of your own home.  

Have Fun

Plan activities that bring friends and family together. Weekly game nights with fellow retirees, monthly bridge luncheons, and daily walks with friends are a few ways to keep your mind sharp and your heart happy. You might even consider planning an annual cruise with your friends to see the Alaskan glaciers calving or to visit the castles along the Rhine River. It doesn’t matter what you do, what matters is that you do something to keep you looking forward to the future with joy and anticipation.

Serve Others

It is hard to be depressed and feel sorry for yourself when you are thinking of others. Find a way to serve others regularly. There is something that you are uniquely qualified to give. Delivering for the Meals on Wheels program is a simple, rewarding way to connect with others who might be homebound and need a friend. Volunteering at a local convalescent hospital is another way to reach out to others feeling lonely. Offering to rock preemies or sick babies in the NICU of your local hospital might just become the best part of your day. Making cookies for your local fire station or police station will surely be met with smiles of gratitude. Mentoring young men and women through the YMCA or helping kids with their homework at the Boys and Girls Clubs of America are ways to make a difference in the rising generation.  

Start Now

It really doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you do something. The key to winning the anti-aging game is to take an anti-aging initiative first in the mind. Think young, act young, feel young.

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