“Old age ain’t no place for sissies” — Bette Davis.
Growing older is inevitable, and while it can pose a multitude of challenges for us all there is definitely one aspect of the ageing process we can choose to concentrate on — that is the mindset we can apply towards making the second half of life, in some respects, count the most.
We have the ability and the right to expect everything from life and settle for nothing less when it comes to approaching how we choose to age. We also have the opportunity to take personal responsibility for how this should play out.
One thing is for sure — if you want to age well and gain the most and best out of the process no one will do it for you.
It must come from within. You must have clear directions and your own conviction for optimal success. The following may just help you define your own thoughts on some of this thinking.
What do you think about your own ageing process?
Is it merely a rite of passage, something off in the distance that you believe you can do little about, or would you like it to symbolise or reflect some of the wonderful aspects that were present in the first half of your life?
The rite of passage from birth to 50 years of age is reasonably well defined and a fairly standard expectation. We go to school, achieve higher learning, obtain first jobs, find life partners, raise families, develop a career, enjoy hobbies and sports and contribute to our communities.
The skills we develop during the first half of life are not necessarily adequate or appropriate to support us in the second half.
The tasks and requirements for growth and change are completely different, especially when it comes to retirement, living solo or within a partnership, grandparenthood, possibilities for contributing to the community or developing later career choices, physical fitness, ageing bodies, and lastly, mortality.
Each or all of these aspects will demand from us very different attitudes, disciplines and life skills, many of which have not yet been clearly associated with increased longevity, at least not yet in this country. Each aspect will challenge us to be courageous and face our possible fears. This type of future promises to be both daunting and exciting.
If you didn’t know how old you are, how old would you be?
In general terms, it is determined by our cells — after the age of 50 our bodies begin the physical ageing process and so with the onset of menopause for women and andropause for men, our bodies begin to impose their own natural restrictions and limitations, mentally, emotionally and physically.
This triple whammy effect undoubtedly brings, in no particular order, the first hurdles of ageing. It is now that a potential plan can begin to take shape.
Find yourself a functional and nutritional practitioner who is dedicated to the anti-ageing process and longevity and is prepared to help you practise optimal wellness. Do your research until you find one, because they will be invaluable when you begin to formulate your plan. It will become a two-way learning experience for both of you, and they usually like to collect your experiences.
Don’t be afraid to ask challenging questions, and again do your own research to make sure you understand and feel comfortable with the process and treatment protocol. You may have to make some changes; however, it is possible to feel better than you did when you were 30, when perhaps most things were taken for granted.
It’s wonderful knowing you feel well because of a choice or a change that you decided to make. It is empowering. This is your personal choice insurance policy. It is a financial commitment; however, this is a great time to invest in yourself.
While optimal wellness does not appear to be the accepted “norm” in conventional health circles it is indeed available for everyone, and the effort involved in finding the right practitioner is worth the outcome.
How old would you like to be when you die?
Strange question? Often, without realising it, we can be pre-programmed to accept an earlier end age than is necessary. If we are clear about thinking and accepting that an end age of 100 is possible, then a positive and definite plan is certainly a prerequisite for achieving this goal. Take time and think about this — it is good to challenge yourself.
The World Health Organisation defines “wellness” as an active process of becoming aware of and making choices towards a healthy and fulfilling life, a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”.
So why wellness and why should it matter?
Wellness matters because it is crucial to being able to live a higher quality of life. With optimal wellness we have the ability to keep stress at bay, reduce the risk of illness and continue to stay open to positive interactions as we age.
When we have the choice to naturally replace our hormones bio-identically, return our cholesterol levels to normal, operate with normal blood pressure, rid our bodies of inflammation to reduce arthritis and other systemic issues, keep our hearts healthy and our brains fed and in optimal condition without the damage of oxidative stress, and simply re-learn to stay completely hydrated with optimal gut bacteria and digestion, we are well on our way to enjoying the second half of life perhaps with a consciousness that we overlooked for the first half.
Being in charge feels good. Why not take charge of your wellness? Good health will follow naturally and there won’t be a “sissie” in sight! ☐