“Anxious about Aging?
7 Ways to Embrace Your Future”
Are you anxious about ageing? The process of growing older can feel overwhelming. In the current era of social media and comparison culture, it can be very easy to get dragged down by reminders of the latest way to remove wrinkles and examples of what the world thinks youth ‘should’ look like.
It’s as if the world wants us to slow down while confusingly hurrying us along to catch up. You certainly aren’t alone if these words are resonating with you. There are literally thousands of other women in their forties and beyond who feel just like you do. We are an army of women being placed under completely unrealistic expectations. Yet we tend to become the ones who end up paying the price in terms of cost to our personal wellbeing.
Anxious About Ageing? Celebrate Your Journey
Now more than ever, we should be celebrating our journeys. The very fact that you’re here reading this article highlights that you have already survived a lifetime of personal challenges, significant events, loves, losses and everything in between. You’re still here to tell the tale, and that should be something to salute in itself. Do you still need a little more convincing?
Here are 7 empowering ways to love the age you are:
1. Let go of comparison.
The first stop on a self-esteem building path? Liberate yourself from the anchors of comparison. First of all, you are entirely (wonderfully) unique and therefore should not waste a moment longer attempting to suit anyone’s agenda. Secondly, how someone chooses to lead their life is irrelevant to how you lead yours. We have all had different influences, experiences and opportunities in our lives. We each have differing expectations and perceptions of our future also. Therefore, why waste a moment of your time worrying about where someone else is on their journey, compared to your own? Learn to love yourself to free yourself from self-limiting comparison. It’s a lot more fun to be happy for someone else than it is to feel envious of them. Besides – stress is aging!
2. Practice affirmations.
If you’re anxious about ageing and struggling to find the positive in growing older, try manifesting some fresh positivity for yourself. Affirmations are a great way to remind our subconscious minds of what we are capable of. Practicing affirmations can also provide a greatly needed reality check.
Start by writing out 3 of your own on post it notes and sticking them up on your bathroom mirror. Every time you catch yourself negatively examining the presence of a new line on your face (we’ve all been there) take the opportunity to read your positive affirmations to yourself aloud. Daily repetition will help the message stick long-term. You’ll be feeling more confident in no time!
3. Treat yourself for every reason
As small children, we had to wait to be permitted a gift or special something.
As adults, we might habitually fall into the trap of feeling like we need to ‘deserve’ a treat before we allow ourselves to indulge. You have worked hard to become the amazing person you are. You have overcome personal battles that you likely never imagined you could earlier on in your life.
It’s high time that you treat yourself with the focused attention and care that you would for a loved one. Make yourself your own best friend, and treat that friend with the respect she deserves. Little excuses to smile can go a long way. Be as creative as you like – face masks, vacations, new notebooks, gorgeous smelling candles and the fancier bread at the store (the one you tell yourself is too expensive but you want anyway) all count!
4. Connect with friends to reminisce.
One great way to release the pressure and stop being anxious about aging is to recognize the fun and joyful times you’ve had along the journey so far. Get in touch with friends or family that you’re close to and spend some quality time going through old photos and memory treasures together. Doing so will help you to appreciate your pathway and it’s varied chapters.
Instead of fearing the future or worrying about what’s ahead, embrace the gifts you have in your life already. Plus, you might come across old ambitions of yours that you had forgotten all about in the process. Who knows where a session of reminiscing could lead?
5. Try something new to stop being anxious about ageing
What better time to start a passion project or a long-desired hobby, than the present moment in time. Perhaps you have always had a particular fitness goal in mind but a fear of failure has held you back. Or maybe you’ve always wanted to try a yoga class but you have previously never found the time. Throw those excuses right out the window and focus your energies on pursuing what might make you happy.
Realistically, what do you have to lose by giving something a go? It doesn’t matter what skill level you do or don’t achieve. It’s about putting yourself in new situations and benefiting from the experience. You have everything to gain by challenging yourself to try something new. You might even pick up some new friends along the way and stop feeling anxious about ageing.
6. Change your use of language.
If you find yourself routinely berating yourself because of your perceived flaws or mistakes, then it’s time to break the habit. Why waste another year of your life making yourself the butt of your own joke? You are an incredible, intelligent, worthy woman who has the full potential to be whoever she wishes to become in the future. You haven’t finished growing and evolving quite yet. Replace, “I wish I could…” with, “I can” and swap out, “I’m useless at that…” with, “I’m loving the learning process!”. You might surprise yourself at how quickly you begin to see positive changes occurring in your life. Set the bar of self-respect and others will naturally follow!
7. Stop apologizing
You don’t owe the world anything. Don’t feel ‘bad’ about your age or under pressure to become something (or someone) that you’re not. You deserve to enjoy life at every phase, regardless of what number of years you’ve been standing on this Earth so far. You have incredible memories and experiences under your belt, and you are only going to add to those as you progress.
Stop Feeling Anxious About Ageing
Let yourself off the hook of expectation and embrace living authentically to who you really are. There’s no-one else like you on the planet. Isn’t that something in itself to celebrate? Exactly! So—stop apologizing and start living. Your future self will be very grateful that you chose to do so because you only have one life. Try to squeeze out every drop of joy, laughter, experience and learning that you can. While you’re tied up worrying about your past or groaning at the thought of the impending future, you’re wasting precious time that could be better spent having fun! Life has enough of it’s curve balls and challenges without needing to add to them with worry about the number on your next birthday cake.
This Is Your Time To Stop Being Anxious About Ageing
Let go of what the world might try to tell you is ‘appropriate’ for your age and focus your time and energy on the things in life that truly make you happy. Indulge in as much time as you can with those you love. Start that new hobby you’re dying to try. Get started on that fitness journey you’ve been putting off. The time is now, and it’s yours to enjoy in the way you wish. You deserve to enjoy good mental health and wellbeing, that doesn’t include the stress of self-built pressure. This is your time, no-one else’s. What would you like to do with it next?