Keren Smedley 4th August 2017

We’re obsessed about getting older – our health and how we look

In my coaching and counselling practice I often find myself talking to people about ageing and their fears and anxieties.  A trigger point is a big birthday, one with a nought at the end. You can be 40, 50, 60 or 70 but each time it comes round it triggers the fears that you believe go with that period of time.  We reflect on our parents at that age, when we were teenagers or young adults, and we shudder to think that we are or will be like them. We then start to worry about how it is going to be. Most of us become very concerned about our physical health and losing our memories, and about our looks. Some go as far to say that they envy young people they meet or have in the family. 

Worry isn’t going to stop you getting older; in fact it will do the opposite!  And, if I may say so, envy won’t endear you to anyone or make you feel or look good.

As a society, we seem to be obsessed with looking younger and trying to pretend we aren’t our real age. I know we baby boomers invented the idea that youth was best. However, we now have to change our tune a bit and admit, surprising as it may seem, being 50, 60 or 70 are pretty good, too!

Take a few minutes to write down all the benefits of being 50. For example:
                                         *  Feeling confident in your own skin
                                         *  All the things you’ve learnt from experiences
                                         *  Not having to take exams
Now write down all the disadvantages. For example:   
                                       *  Not being able to run as fast 
                                       *  Having grey or greying hair 
                                       *  Having a few wrinkles

Once you’ve written your list, look at which ones you can do something about and which ones you can’t. Then ask yourself the following questions:
                                 What can I do to change the situation
                                 Do I really want to do it?          
                                 How am I going to go about it?
                                 How am I going to stop thinking about it if I don’t want to press ahead?  (The best way to do this is to say ‘stop’ every time the thought enters your head and focus on something  positive)

If you start concentrating on what you can and can’t do, you won’t have time to look at and envy others. You’ll also start feeling a lot better in yourself and looking years younger

Best wishes, Keren

Experience Matters is an organisation set up to empower the 50+ and to help us to manage this next stage of life. We offer coaching, workshops, advice and information. 

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