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Graceful Aging

Aging is inherent in living, irrespective of whatever stage of life we happen to be in. And as long as we are alive our own individual aging process continues.

It affects the bodies in which we are housed – the ‘wear and tear’ we experience in this respect is a measure of the toll exacted by usage as well as the passage of time. It may well affect our attitudes and in some instances it may augur a present or future erosion of our cognitive powers as well as our mobility capacity. In some of us the consequences of growing older induces despondency, in others, not so.

Inevitably we all must age, but whether or not we manage to do it gracefully is another matter. And simply understanding the process of aging as it affects us will enable us to better cope with its consequences.

Some of us, whether by reason of our genetic make-up, our particular life-style or our avoidance of toxin exposure seem to age more successfully than others. Our access (or lack of it) to available and competent medical/dental care doubtless plays its part in the success of our aging process. Public health measures such as water and food purity as well as suppression of disease carrying insects are of great importance to our survival to old age.

Adequate public health measures provide protection and improvement of community health by organized community effort, and include preventive medicine as well as sanitation and social science measures. Most of the time we residents in North America take these for granted. But they have been of pivotal importance in enabling us to attain an advanced age. They have largely eliminated such hazards as typhoid and yellow fever and tuberculosis, and include such things as annual ‘flu’ shots.

But in my opinion – assuming your retention of cognitive capacity – the most fundamental aspect of graceful aging rests upon a positive mindset. The ability to see the glass as ‘half full’ will enable us to emphasize the positive aspects of the time remaining to us. Additionally this mindset inclines us to help others less fortunate, serves to lift our concerns from our own ailments and enables us to remain aware of (and perhaps involved in) matters of importance that are occurring locally, regionally as well as events of world-wide significance. We can to that extent remain engaged in the continued stream of life as it flows by. And this also will lift and enlarge our own mental horizons.

Working crossword puzzles – or any other kind of puzzle – will exercise our mental faculties so that they maintain an edge of sharpness. Physical exercise appropriate to our age and physical condition will help us maintain better vascular and muscle tone. Interaction with other people can help us maintain social graces that we might otherwise lose. And all of these will help you to put a more positive ‘spin’ on everything.

In short, you should try to live your life as abundantly as you can – while it lasts.

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