We all know that:
Ageing is often positioned negatively in the press and can be perceived as a downward spiral. A ‘New Ageist Britain Report’ published by Sunlife (Aug 2019) found that we are being bombarded with language, phrases, stereotypical views of what life is like post 50.
As a result:
- This can increase negative views and for some reason there can be an implication that life stops, we become invisible or we can’t do certain things.
- Ageism in the media and the workplace can lead to a negative perception of what life might become and a whole set of negative and disempowering assumptions.
- Ultimately some of this can lead to a self fulfilling prophecy for some individuals.
The positive news is that there is so much to celebrate and yes we are living in a very different world to perhaps other generations before us and everyone’s situation is unique and the chapters of life do change but there is now greater opportunity to embrace uncertainty, personal change and our wellbeing.
Some changes might be thrust upon us, unexpectedly through loss, grief and illness and
as a result we can feel isolated, disconnected, overwhelmed, lonely and anxious. It is at this time and further down the line we might experience growth and we may choose to reprioritise certain things in our life including our own wellbeing.
As we’re living in an age of an abundance of medical research we know more about the human body and mind. The good news there is now more and more evidence to show that we are taking control of our own ageing and want to live life fully - ceasing the wonderful opportunity to grow old well. Excitingly we can find ourselves growing into new possibilities investing in what really matters to us in terms of our life including our relationships - one life with no rules hurrah!
What does that look like? We’re rejecting the traditional notion of midlife, ageing and choosing to live life very differently. Wanting to be more active, resourceful and assertive in advocating change and creating new possibilities.
There is increasing evidence to show that if we are more optimistic and have a sense of purpose we can change our experience and embrace the future positively. Scientists at Harvard and Boston University recently concluded that by being optimistic you can extend your life by 14.9% on average.
From my own experience both professionally and personally when we focus more on our own wellbeing the sources of distress can diminish and shrink away.
Close to my heart:
Sadly my parents did not age well and I cared for them both. In that period of twenty years I saw so much that was not well inspiring my professional career as a coach, practitioner and researcher.