Aging is a natural part of the life cycle in all living things. In the animal kingdom, the elders of the pack or herd have specific respect within the group.
In the human world, elders are treated very differently from culture to culture. Many cultures respect their elders and ensure they are cared for within the family nucleus until their last breath. In Western culture, there is a battle going on. The elders themselves are unwilling to accept getting older and the important role they play in the future of the younger generations.
We resist and fight against the aging process. We live in denial about aging in the hopes that this isn’t really happening to us. Not me! No way!
Bryson’s Commercial Accounting Assistant & Wellness Adviser Tobi McLeod with her doggie Ruggie
If we are not suffering from any underlying medical issues, we may notice things such as hair loss for men, new unexplained facial hair for ladies, the new ache you have in your hip or knee, gray hair creeping in, a few more wrinkles, you get the idea.
We have to stop viewing old age as a problem.
As if it were an incurable disease. It cannot be ‘solved” by spending billions of dollars on plastic surgery in a vain attempt to mask the visible signs of aging. Billions are being spent annually on research to extend the life span itself, along with more money than ever before spent on nursing homes and retirement homes as a way to isolate those who don’t want to conform and continue in denial about aging.
A new concept of thinking about aging called “Conscious Aging” includes a new way of looking at the experience of aging in its entirety. In ancient cultures, there was an acceptance that life has a beginning, middle, and end. The concept of “Conscious Aging” returns us to that way of thinking or belief. To recognize and accept the aging process, a natural part of the life cycle for all creatures on this planet, and discontinue the cultural obsession with the Fountain of Youth and learn to respect the need for wisdom. The goal is to change the view of aging to something that should not be feared but rather embraced. The societal attitude towards aging is at one of its lowest points in history. Instead of spending billions of dollars to ward off the evil of aging, the money should be spent on finding ways to improve the aging population’s quality of life.
Everything in existence has an expiry date; from the label on the food package, our clothing gets worn out, our cars only last so many years, to our lives. The only question is: How will you expire, and what do you want to do until you do?
Most of us live in fear of aging, which, ironically, speeds up the aging process. The stress this fear creates increases the chance of wrinkles, grey hair, and many health problems. It begins to rob our lives of meaning at a time when we should be living our lives to the fullest.
The fear of aging and the denial associated with it has a cost. We go through our lives psychologically and spiritually incomplete. We fear memory loss as one of the things to decline in old age. Similarly, our fear of physically aging can increase our physical signs of aging; the same can be said about the fear of memory loss. The more we fear it, the more it can create actual memory decline. It is human nature to fear the unknown. For centuries the fear of the unknown, of what will happen to us after our existence here on Earth, has forced us to focus on the fear and not the actual act of living. The animal kingdom lives in the present moment; humans struggle even to be present at times.
We can not alter nature. We invest billions into research on extending the life and defying death for as long as possible. Our attempt to add a few more years to the human life span is exhausting, expensive, and in the end, a meaningless venture. We add stress to our existence by not being able to accept the natural process of aging. Instead of living longer, maybe we are just dying longer.
The best way to combat the aging process would be to start really living your life.
Embrace the daily things that occur, enjoy the time spent with family, friends, and co-workers. Do something every day that makes you smile. Go for a walk. Eat everything in moderation. Watch a flock of birds interact. Learn something new to stimulate your memory, read, do crosswords, or take an adult education class. Your brain is a muscle, and it requires exercise too!
We are only here for a short time, so get out there and enjoy every moment of it!
Mind yourself and your mental health.