What is your attitude about aging? Because it’s our mindset that determines how well we age. It’s not always easy to embrace aging. In addition to stiff joints, most of us endure major physical and hormonal changes. Society’s view on growing older, which often reduces us to invisibility, doesn’t help. But positive aging has the power to turn all that around.
What is positive aging?
Here’s the truth: the better our attitude about aging, the better our aging experience will be, both physically and emotionally. The same is true of a negative attitude towards aging, as shown in various studies throughout the world.
So how can we age positively? Below are some helpful tips from clinical therapist Robyn Maltz, who has been practicing therapy for almost 45 years and, as a woman in her late 60s, knows a thing or two about positive aging.
According to Maltz, the key to growing older gracefully comes down to a single concept: Connection.
Connect to your body.
“It’s important to feel good in your body,” Maltz says. “This isn’t limited to what you see looking back at you in the mirror. It also means how you feel inside your skin. How much energy you have throughout the day. How much comfort you feel walking around.” Maltz is a big believer in avoiding negative self-talk and staying grateful. “Being grateful for what your body is able to do is a really good step when it comes to connecting to your body.”
Connect to your community.
As we age, friendships with other women become more and more important. “Connecting to your community through friendships and intimate connections with people that see you and love you is so helpful as we get older,” Maltz claims.
If you’ve found it tough to connect socially lately, we don’t blame you. But as the world opens back up, we urge you to find joyful ways of spending time with others. Do you love to sing? Join a choir! What about canoeing, or reading? Depending on where you live, there are community centers that will organize all sorts of group events — all you need to do is show up.
Connect to nature.
There’s no better way to embrace life than connecting to nature. Maltz says that the time she spends outdoors in nature is her favorite part of any day.
“Using time outdoors to integrate my body, mind, and spirit is incredibly healing. I like walking the dog or walking with friends, hiking, resting, and watching the birds. It reminds me that we are all part of this big, mysterious, and beautiful universe.”
Connect to yourself.
One of the most important ways to age positively is by connecting to your inner self. Maltz recommends doing this through self-care practices that bring you to a healthy, loving place. “These practices can be anything — eating healthy food, engaging in essential skin care practices, daily movement that brings you joy, or regular periods of meditation and stillness. Any act that shows you that you care about yourself and your life is self-care,” says Maltz.
Here’s the thing: Growing older doesn’t have to mean giving up. If we know how to age positively, embrace the process, and be the best aging women we can be — not to mention have fun on the journey! — we will age better. So, go ahead and celebrate how far you’ve come, and what you still have to look forward to!