Age: It’s just a number. By Carol Pearson
Find out how to feel younger with a few simple changes.
When I talk with clients they generally support the idea that a big part of ageing is a state of mind. I find those who have a positive attitude towards growing older, embrace their advancing years, take better care of themselves and often enjoy life more as they age.
Others focus on the down sides, their body ageing and time slipping by. This perspective can have a negative impact on health and wellbeing and activities pursued and make the experience of ageing feel worse than it needs to be. Yes, it’s true that if you have poor health or limited financial means it can be hard to feel positive or grateful, but the reality is, it’s helpful to make the best of what you do have, no matter how bad it feels.
Don’t let your thinking about your numerical age define you. I agree with the sayings “age is just a number” and “you’re only as old as you feel”. It really is possible to feel better if you change your thinking.
Fixed and Growth Mindsets
The Stanford University psychologist, Dr Carol Dweck, has researched mindsets and beliefs about ability. She found that if you have a fixed mindset, you believe that your ability cannot change and you may not take on new challenges. However, if you have a growth mindset, you believe your ability can change, you’re more likely to look for new challenges, stretch yourself and create opportunities to develop.
How does mindset affect ageing?
If you have a fixed mindset you may think it’s too late to make changes in your life, you’re too old to get fitter or take up new hobbies. If you have a growth mindset, you’ll be more open to trying new things and believe that you can do better, make improvements, start new things and make a difference.
How can you change your mindset?
- Examine and challenge your thoughts and beliefs. If you think it’s too late to start a fitness plan, challenge yourself, is that true?
- Stop negative talk. Change “I’m not creative” to “Maybe I could develop my creativity if I took an art class”
- Visualise yourself as the person you’d like to become, identify a role model.
- Set small goals towards becoming that person, believe you can achieve them
- Step out of your comfort zone, try new things, and challenge yourself to achieve your goals
Visualise yourself as a strong, active, creative and successful person with a youthful and positive outlook, doing meaningful work and embracing your wisdom and maturity. Test and push yourself to learn new things and have new experiences.
Yes, age is just a number, but how you age is up to you.