Thursday, August 02, 2018

How to Tackle the Fear of Growing Older

Most of us will hopefully grow old, and it’s an understandable fear to have. We all worry about our looks fading and our health worsening. We worry about not being able to accomplish everything, and worry about dying alone. Sometimes, the fear starts when you’re young. Other times, it happens after you hit a milestone, such as middle-age or even after.

It’s reasonable as to why someone would fear it. However, if the fear is too great, it can ruin your life while you are still young, and it can have an effect as you age. Here are some reasons why you fear growing old.

Know Why You Fear It

There may be an underlying reason as to why you fear growing older. Sometimes, it’s due to seeing a family member suffer in their later years. You may fear like you’ll grow up to be like them. However, treat it as a learning experience. If the person died because of a condition, see if that condition may affect you, and look into ways you can prevent that condition. My mom died very young (34) and my grandparents (her parents lived into their late 90s) so I find myself wondering often what will  happen to me.

Realize The Stereotypes

One reason why we may fear growing old is because of the stereotypes. We may imagine an old person as crotchety and hating the world around them. They hate how children are not like their generation. We all know the stereotype of the old man shouting “Get off my lawn!” While there definitely are people who grow more cynical with age, you’d be surprised at how happy many older people are. Your happiness isn’t magically going to go down once you reach a certain age. It’s all about how you perceive the world and how you see the next generation.

Stay Healthy While You’re Young

One reason why many people are afraid of growing old is because they fear their health will fail, or their mental health will suffer. While this may be inevitable for some people, it’s possible to enter your golden years sharp and spry, and one way to do that is to stay healthy when you’re young. Eat healthy. Exercise. Not only will you have enough energy and feel better now, but it can lessen your chances of aging-related problems as you grow older. Your body will be able to handle more physical activity, you will be sharp mentally, and your skin may age better than someone who isn’t physically fit.

Look at the Positives

In a culture obsessed with youth, there have been many negatives associate with growing older, but there are positives as well. These include:

  • Financial stability.
  • More time to spend doing the things we love. If you’re older and physically active, the world is yours.
  • Time to spend with a loving family.
  • A happy outlook on life.
  • The wisdom gained from learning from your experiences.
In some ways, being old and being young both have their own pros and cons. It’s just that we associate positivity with youthfulness.

Seek Help!

If you’re still having trouble dealing with growing older, then you may want to talk to a therapist about it. We all have some fears or concerns when it comes to aging, but it shouldn’t overtake your life. A therapist can help you with any questions and concerns, and will teach you ways to be able to handle aging with grace.

If counseling seems too expensive, don’t worry. There are free counseling options you can try as well.

You don’t have to fear growing older. Growing older can be a time of reflection, wisdom, and a time for you to relax and enjoy your life.

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