One of, if not the, principal preoccupations of the human race is the fact that our time on this earth is finite. We are born into consciousness and spend a good part of our lives, especially while we are young, completely oblivious to the slow march of time. When the realization finally sets in that you have seen more sunsets than you are going to see, we can begin to feel morose, even morbid, about our own existence. Aging, however, does not have to be an unpleasant experience. It’s all about perspective. Below are five pieces of advice to help you overcome feelings of unhappiness about aging.
Cultivate a positive mindset. The mere fact that we exist is a miracle. The fact that we exist in a time when we are able to experience and live through so much, thanks to incredible advancements in medicine and healthcare, is spectacular in and of itself. Being thankful for each day we are given—especially in the western world, where we are given so much—is a good way to put aging, and simply living, in perspective.
Accept nature. There are certain things that we are meant to enjoy at specific times of our lives. That is part of the human experience. Reconciling yourself to that universal truth will help you to appreciate the things that only those experiencing old age are truly able to enjoy, such as a full perspective on a life well-lived, both the good times and the bad times. Focusing too heavily on your inability to participate in youthful activities is a surefire way to create resentment and unhappiness.
Engage with the young. In many societies around the world, the relationship between the old and the young is a mutually reinforcing one. Offering your wisdom and experience to a young person or to young people who are just starting to make their way in the world provides a sense of purpose. Additionally, exposure to lives that are just beginning will bring joy and hope to your twilight years.
Use free time productively. Just because you are getting older does not mean you have to give up on everything that you once loved doing. Having well curated and cultivated interests, regardless of which stage of life you are at, is a great way to ensure that you are both mentally and physically stimulated.
As cliche as it sounds to say, aging is all about how you perceive it. You can either look at it as the slow march towards the inevitable end or see it as yet another fundamental part of the human experience and strive to get as much out of as you possibly can. If the prospect of getting older has got you down, keep the above five considerations in mind.
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