Finding Confidence with an Aging Mind and Body
The message from society is pervasive. Fight aging and stay young. But that’s not a goal any of us can truly achieve. What we can do is recognize and embrace the normal changes from the aging process. Find new ways to do the things we love to do and accept changes that come with the passage of time. When we face the unavoidable changes with acceptance we give ourselves more control of the things that we actually can change…our choices. Feeling more in control is a huge confidence booster, and can actually help you live independently longer and enjoy life more.
6 Choices That Can Raise Self-Confidence
- Feeling Valued through Connection. We all need to know we are loved, needed, connected to someone. Keeping your connections strong boosts self worth and self-confidence. Actively make that happen. Don’t wait for others to reach out. Be the one to do the reaching. If you are lonely make some calls. If you need help ask. If someone is on your mind let that someone know. Adult children can help this process by being receptive when an older relative tries to make contact.
- Minimize the Risk of Falls. A fall can happen to anyone, but the consequence of a fall gets much greater as we age. The likelihood of a fall goes up too, but there are things we can do to mitigate that risk. Improve balance and strength through classes like chair yoga. Take a daily walk to maintain basic fitness. Keep floors and stairs free of clutter. Knowing you have taken steps to reduce fall risks will allow you to feel confident about performing activities of daily living.
- Shift Perception of Aging. As part of the natural process of aging, we face a decrease in our physical capabilities. We have hearing and vision loss, we lose muscle mass, we lose height, and we lose stamina and flexibility. Do not view these losses a personal failure. These losses are a natural part of human aging and should not bring shame. Sometimes our children are our biggest critics, as they want us to be as we were when they were young. If they are lucky, they will age too. Be a role model for accepting an aging body. Be the best you that you can be today, and face the world with grace and confidence.
- Home Alterations. Many home modifications are available to allow people to perform activities of daily living independently at home. Some examples are improved lighting, handrails, and lowered cabinets. If your house was not designed with older residents in mind, a few minor modifications can make a world of difference.
- Share your Wisdom. Your teenage grandson may not show gratitude for your advice, but he needs it nonetheless. There is great satisfaction in knowing that we will live on through our impact on our loved ones. Through the years your advice will be played back in your loved ones’ minds again and again and become a part of the wisdom that they pass down as well.
- Keep up with Current Affairs. Stay engaged with what’s happening in your community, in your state, in your country, and your world. These events are common to us all and can help you make conversation with friends and loved ones old and new. This will also give you confidence in demonstrating your mental sharpness.
- Communicate Your Needs. Loved ones may not know that you cannot hear them, you cannot walk as fast as you used to, you cannot read that tiny print. Help them to be patient by letting them know that you have a limitation and what they can do to accommodate it. Say “I cannot hear as well as I used to. It really helps me if you slow down your speech and enunciate clearly”. Everyone will be less frustrated once you let them know what they need to do.
All of these steps can boost self-confidence and improve your experience as an aging adult. The changes are normal. Accept your limitations and problem-solve to live your best life today. Do not push your loved ones away. Instead, engage them in continuing to be a part of your life.