Embrace your new life
‘Positive ageing’ is a term used to define the process of keeping a positive attitude, feeling good about yourself, staying fit and healthy, and engaging fully in life as you get age. It’s also about recognising that as an older person you have a wealth of life experience and knowledge and can continue to make an enormous contribution to your community.
Ageing can be a time of great personal freedom and enjoyment, but it can be a time when significant changes occur physically, emotionally, socially, and financially. People often experience changes in physical functioning, social networks, employment, and bereavement. Keeping a positive attitude toward ageing is vital as it allows you to continue to feel good and have a sense of control in your senior years.
Tips to achieve positive ageing
Develop a positive attitude
The way you feel about yourself and the ageing process can affect how you view life and the extent to which you are involved in activities. If you can make choices and have control over important aspects of your life, and engage in activities you enjoy, you will get more out of life. You might like to learn about ‘mindfulness’ or keep an ‘appreciation journal’ to help develop a positive mindset.
Social interaction and relationships are associated with feeling optimistic about life. Maintain social networks by joining a club, community group, doing some voluntary or part-time work and seeing family and friends on a regular basis.
Exercise your brain
Keeping the brain active, alert and flexible can promote good mental health. Having an active mind can be as simple as reading a book, learning a new hobby or problem solving (i.e. doing crosswords). Learning new skills is exercise for the brain and keeps it agile.
Physical activity is vital for health and wellbeing at any age. And, it’s never too late to get moving – the human body responds to exercise, regardless of age. Exercise can also help you think positively, recover from illness, aid weight loss and reduce the risk of disease. Strength training is particularly beneficial as it builds healthy bones, muscles and joints, which will increase your physical strength, and improve balance and mobility. Swimming, water aerobics and other forms of water therapy are also great for your body and your mind!
Eating a fresh, balanced diet is key to maintaining a healthy weight, which will help to reduce the likelihood of developing conditions such as diabetes. A healthy weight will also improve your energy levels and make it easier to participate in activities.
Manage your stress
Keeping as free from stress as possible, and learning ways to manage unavoidable stress, is important. Try meditation and relaxation techniques to calm your body and clear your mind.
Stay focused on the positives and use strategies that have worked in the past to relieve stress such as problem solving or goal setting. Do some physical activity, get quality rest and eat well.
Have regular medical check-ups
Seeing your GP regularly is important for illness prevention and having regular tests can help to reduce the onset of chronic conditions. Visiting an allied health professional can also improve your health and wellbeing.
Remember, you are a unique human being with a lot to contribute and your ‘senior years’ can be a wonderful time of life.
Stay positive, active, healthy and connected and, in the words of Nina Simone, you’ll be feelin’ good.