Planning, Positivity, Purpose, and Active Aging

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowline, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails, and explore, dream, discover." - Mark Twain

Healthy Aging

Aging with grace. Sounds funny but with a little planning, keeping a positive outlook and finding or having purpose we can all become "older adults" living lives with grace, health and joy.

The other day a friend told me about a 79-year-old, man that she met on an "un-cruise" around the Baha, Mexico. He and his wife were in the yoga class and snorkeling with the rest of the gang. He said that he had done a "solo" trip recently, spent 14 weeks in India, and fell in love with the country on many levels. Wow, that is inspiring!

The idea that we have to "stop, slow down, take it easy, give it up," as we age, is a myth. Though some planning would be helpful when we realize, "Gee, I'll be 60, 70 or 80 in a few years," it is never too late to start.

Healthy Aging

Planning

Good nutrition: take stock of what you eat. Feeding ourselves fresh, healthy food is where it begins. Eat "real" food, not too much, mostly plants." Michael Pollen, The Omnivore's Dilemma.

Avoid processed foods, eat plenty of fiber (and/or use a fiber supplement,) if possible choose organic foods.

Keep yourself well hydrated all of your life. As we age we tend to drink less water. Our bodies are still at least 75% water. It will help with energy and organ function. If possible buy a countertop water filter (aquasana.com, for example,) and stay away from plastic bottles.

Keep moving! Even if you have never been a regular exerciser, movement is an essential component of a long, healthy life. Find something you like to do...and do it!

Positivity

We all know we'd rather be around positive, happy people...so why not BE one! Practice the "Attitude of gratitude!"

I have used affirmations daily for many years. It is simple: Every day and in every way I am better and better, for example. Norman Cousins healed himself from a painful illness by watching many, many movies that made him feel good and LAUGH!

Anatomy of an Illness was his book written about his experience as the patient that spoke to our current interest in taking charge of our own health. Be your own advocate. And don't forget to laugh. A lot.

Living with a Purpose

Purposeful Living

Living with a purpose gives you a touchstone, which leads to feeling less worried about daily life. The calm that comes from a day filled with even the simplest purpose/tasks, is a good day, and will have many health benefits.

Whether its feeding hungry people, building a path for the Sierra Club or digging in the dirt, a purpose-filled day turns into a purpose-filled life, one day at a time. I am not talking about "finding your purpose," rather, just finding purpose in every day.

Research has shown that people who feel a "meaningfulness" or purpose in life report less pain and reduced anxiety, and a level of happiness.

  • A reason to get up in the morning.
  • Something you enjoy doing.
  • Ways to help if you want.
  • Things that make you feel good

"Change your thoughts and you change your world." - Norman Vincent Peale



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