PORTLAND, Maine — With age comes new aches and pains and concerns about whether you've done enough in your professional life or personal life. It also comes with wisdom and experience.
Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith is a physician and an expert on mind-body-spirit connection. She's also the author of Sacred Rest. She shares four simple ways to grow old gracefully; getting older and getting better:
1. Get Yourself Checked Out
It sounds simple but if you get yourself checked out, either by a medical specialist or have your senses checked like your hearing, it’s going to make sure the two you are fighting fit and are in the best conditions possible. The fact is that as you get older, your senses can deteriorate but you have to take it upon yourself to make sure that it’s not a bad thing that will hinder your life. You can easily get hearing aids if you are experiencing some form of hearing loss. And with the wide variety of hearing aid programming options, you can customize your hearing aids to suit your everyday lifestyle. It’s important to remember that, as you get older doesn’t mean that you should become more withdrawn or weaker. It’s just about making sure that everything is working in your favor, whether this is your general health or your senses.
2. Use Your Experience
The advantage anybody has over their contemporaries is we have got experience. As you get older, you may very well be looking to change careers, so you have to remember that life experience counts for a lot as well. You can use this experience to your advantage. So many people believe that when we go up for a job or a change in life that we’ve got to compete with the young, nubile, vibrant individual. But you’ve got the experience and you’ve got wisdom. It sounds like a cliché, but it is a distinct advantage, whatever the situation you are in.
3. Keep Good Company
As we get older, we may find that we become more withdrawn. This could be down to a multitude of reasons. It could very well be the fact that we’re feeling more mortal these days. But whatever happens in your life, if you keep good company it’s going to make you feel happier. Many people talk about meditation and mindfulness as important practices, and they are and can be the best remedy depending on the individual. But at the same time, it’s also important to remember how being sociable and these practices involved with being in a group of people can benefit you. Something as simple as laughter can be as beneficial as meditation. If you can keep good company in your life, it’s not just going to make you more fun-loving, but it’s going to stimulate you in the right way. When we get older and feel more withdrawn, we don’t stimulate ourselves in the right way. Conversation, however simple and effective it is, can be wonderful.
4. Focus on Happiness
It is such a simple thing but being happy is integral to who you are. It is so important to remember that if you are happy in life, this can cover up a multitude of sins. And as we get older, we can think we may very well feel life is passing us by. But if we start to incorporate some simple practice into our lives to make us feel more fulfilled, it’s going to help us in the long run. Some people feel more fallible as they get older. But this is where something as simple as keeping your faith can be a wonderful motivator in life. When you start to focus on happiness, it will naturally tip the balance in favor of positivity. For all of the clichés associated with making yourself happy, you need to focus on self-care as a priority as you get older. If you choose to be miserable this is going to color the rest of your days, and you will only regret it. Many people have regrets on their deathbeds, and one of the biggest is that they worried too much about the small things. But if you actively take the opportunity to embrace happiness, this will stop you from worrying about small things.
Getting older is not getting weaker or worse, but it’s about using the advancing years in your favor and aging gracefully.