Positive aging involves informed choices. This blog often offers research-based insights, experiences, and guest opinions.

Perceptions about Aging: Our Choices

  Research is very clear about the importance of embracing a positive attitude towards aging. With a positive mental attitude, we are more likely to live longer, healthier lives. A recent report even suggested that we are less likely to experience memory loss when maintaining a positive attitude.  However, how others perceive us as we age can affect how we see ourselves. At the same time, how we choose to see and present ourselves as we age also influences how others perceive us. Social Perceptions about Aging Over 100 years ago, sociologist Charles Cooley introduced his Looking Glass Self Theory.…

Continue Reading Perceptions about Aging: Our Choices

A Smile and the Positive Influence of Elders

While walking around our local pond this morning, I passed an older couple near my age walking their dog. As I was passing (from a COVID-safe distance), the man said, “I appreciate your PMA!” I asked the man (whose name I later learned was Greg) what he meant by PMA. He stopped and told me it referred to a positive mental attitude. He’d observed that I was smiling. As an elder woman, I have learned that smiling is a simple, yet powerful act that frequently opens opportunities to connect with people. However, I don’t intentionally practice having a positive mental…

Continue Reading A Smile and the Positive Influence of Elders

Resilience is Key for Positive Aging

Less than two weeks ago, I was able to enjoy morning walks wearing sleeveless tank tops. Most afternoons, I could still wear shorts while working in the yard or taking hikes. Early last week, we had our first frost and have had several frosty mornings since then. As much as I wanted to continue basking in the early autumn sun, that season is quickly coming to an end. This morning, I adapted to the cooler weather by wearing a sweatshirt, a heavy coat, and winter gloves. I even put the dog’s coat on him before taking our walk. It felt…

Continue Reading Resilience is Key for Positive Aging

Letting Go, Embracing a New Season

Our local weather station reports that temperatures in our area may dip to near freezing tonight. I was still wearing shorts and sleeveless shirts last week. This morning I wore a sweatshirt and long pants when I went for a walk. I plan to put an extra blanket on the bed tonight. Change happens. Seasons Change. Life changes. We can usually manage change when we learn to embrace it. It Was a Season of Freedom About thirty-five years ago, I started running. I was never the fastest person on foot, but I enjoyed participating in “fun” runs and having the…

Continue Reading Letting Go, Embracing a New Season

Is it Possible to Live Life without Regrets?

Imagine that you have almost reached the finish line of your life’s journey. You take a moment to consider how far you’ve come and what your life has meant to you and to others. Along with all of the actions that have given you joy or a sense of pride, will you have any regrets? Common End-of-Life Regrets Professor Amy Summerville who studies regret says that it means “feeling bad because things could have been better if we had done something differently in the past.”  Bronnie Ware, a nurse who spent years caring for people at the end of their…

Continue Reading Is it Possible to Live Life without Regrets?

Setting Necessary Boundaries During a Pandemic

Even though leading health experts advise wearing a mask and keeping socially distanced during the pandemic could save lives, we know that too many people are ignoring this advice. Certainly, some are refusing to take prescribed precautions because of political views. Others choose to ignore these safety recommendations when it is not convenient for them. All of us have both the right and the responsibility to set boundaries for our own wellbeing and the wellbeing of others around us. But sometimes other people will unwittingly try to push us beyond the healthy boundaries that we have set for ourselves. Challenges…

Continue Reading Setting Necessary Boundaries During a Pandemic

Elder Wise: Sharing Wisdom in New Ways

Neuroscientist Daniel Levitin explains in his book, Successful Aging, that as we get older, it is common to lose some of our sharpness. We may get distracted more easily and can’t recall things as quickly as we once could. But at the same time, Levitin says we gain wisdom with age due to our experiences, our ability to recognize patterns, the connections we can make, and the analogies we can use. Because we may think a bit differently, it is not that hard to understand why younger adults might consider older adults as being “out of touch” or no longer…

Continue Reading Elder Wise: Sharing Wisdom in New Ways

Your Best Life After 50: Be Aware, Prepare, Dare

When I ask people what they want their lives to look like in the future, almost everyone I’ve talked to will tell me they want to be happy, healthy, and free—at least once they retired. But when I ask people how they are going to make that vision a reality, very few have a realistic plan or are currently taking appropriate action. You see, most people don’t plan to age—it just happens. And that’s the problem. Without an awareness of what our lives could look like after fifty, without preparation, and without concrete action, it is quite likely we will…

Continue Reading Your Best Life After 50: Be Aware, Prepare, Dare

Living Long, Living Well: Lessons from Japan

Japan’s centenarian population just passed 80,000 for the first time ever. The Blue Zones research that looked at longevity hot spots throughout the world included Okinawa in Japan.One of the longevity practices the Blue Zones project identified among Okinawans was strong social connections—some of these connections were life-long. Physical activity and diet were also identified as keys to healthy, longer lives.One of the individuals credited with helping people in his country to live longer and better was Dr. Shigeaki Hinohara, the author of Living Long, Living Good. Dr. Hinohara passed in 2017 at the age of 105. At the time,…

Continue Reading Living Long, Living Well: Lessons from Japan

Challenges & Unexpected Growth Opportunities

I'll admit, I've become accustomed to my routines, even ones that didn't make sense. In some ways; I had become like the proverbial hamster running around on the wheel.  Yes, I'm technically 'retired' from being on the treadmill of working full-time, but I still enjoy and need a certain amount of structure, as do all of us.  Sometimes I need a few unexpected challenges to pay attention to the small stuff and make appropriate corrections. I think such challenges also offer new growth opportunities --not a bad thing. No Time to Ignore a Flood When I got our water bill…

Continue Reading Challenges & Unexpected Growth Opportunities