Sunday, November 27, 2016

Combating the Negatives of Aging in a Youth-OBSESSED culture

Are you embracing aging or are you gearing up for battle?

As most of you know, I have completely eliminated TV from my life (probably one of the BEST decisions I have ever made).  I do still watch the weekend movie with my husband, and last week I really wanted to watch an hour of SNL (so I did) but beyond that and if I watch too many movies or TV my motivation level goes to the ground.  I also noticed another major disadvantage after watching a few too many movies over the long Thanksgiving weekend....I get right back into my habit of comparing myself to others!  UGH!  I have already written a lovely (if I do say so myself) post on combating image comparisons so I am not going to write it again (See post here: Aging sucks but it doesn't have to), however I feel I need to do a little PSA here on how to combat comparisons.  Again, my latest comparison: aging.  A week before Thanksgiving I turned 33.  Nothing too major, not a big milestone.  But it was another year on the calendar.  Now folks I am an image consultant-so image tends to be kind of important to me.  But what I promote to my clients is enhancing your personal beauty NOT comparing yourself to others.  Here I was again comparing myself to other ladies (mostly in movies, so obviously very real-looking with respect to makeup and hair and filters....joke joke) or more recently, younger versions of myself.  I figured if I was doing it (and I KNOW better) there has to be someone else out there doing the same thing.  So here is my attempt to change my perspective on aging (and yours) and be kinder to myself in the process........

1. Think of what you have gained this last year of getting older (not weight-ha!).  I look back at what was going on in my life a year ago and although everything happens in it's own time and as it should, I notice a distinct growth in myself and I am so proud of and happy with that.  I ditched a lot of negative thought patterns, gained a lot of positive ones, gave up TV, became uber clear on my goals, found different effective ways to communicate with those around me, started reading and growing at a rapid rate, and overall became more grateful as a person.  I am now excited to get up in the morning!  I also have three beautiful babies, and I am spending more quality time with them and watching them grow into some pretty cool people.  I have gained so much more but I am not going to bore you with the details.  Long-story short: this year gave me clarity and perspective and some awesome memories with my family and I am happy I gained that.

2.  Don't focus on what you are losing!  Unless you are losing a ton of weight, or negative energy, or terrible things I guess ;) Tony Robbins talks about several different ways people communicate and I am a gainer.  The basic principle is: you are either motivated by inspiration (*hello, that is me!) or desperation.  The sooner you figure it out, the better you can communicate with yourself.  I am a gainer, not a loser.  So the more I focus on what I am gaining by aging, the more graceful and grateful I will age.  The moment I start to spiral into thinking about what I am LOSING (ie. my youthful appearance, years on planet earth, etc) I am for sure in for a terrible ride-and a depressing one at that.  So if you are gainer like me (you need to first figure out what you are), you need to focus on what you are gaining to motivate you....not what you are losing.

3.  Remember: It's all about perspective.  This was the topic in church this morning.  Our pastor was telling the story of how he climbed to the top of Half Dome in Yosemite with his wife a few years back.  He is terrified of heights (much like myself) and gave quite a recounting of his experience and I was literally picturing how scared I would be if I were in his position.  I probably wouldn't have made it to the top-let's be real. His wife on the other hand LOVES heights!  So they both get to the top and he is having a panic attack and wondering how on earth they will get down now and she is peering over the edge with excitement.  Two people, same location, two VERY different reactions......the big difference:  their perspective.  Perspective is mindset to me.  If I want to have a more positive mindset about aging I need to have daily positive self-talk.  This garbage I have been telling myself as of late isn't working for me anymore.  Hint: the garbage gets stronger with the more TV/movies I watch and US weekly's I read.  It doesn't happen often but when I find myself reading the rags or watching certain things the comparisons start and I have a harder time turning them off.  I am sensitive to sugar (too much or certain kinds will send me into a spiral of a sugar binge for days!) and I know what to avoid and how to talk to myself about sugar now.  As time goes on, I am realizing I am very sensitive to the material I am putting into my mind!  Which brings me to my last tip......

4. Repeat the truth (or your truth) several times/day.  Our pastor mentioned this too.  Guess what these can also be called: affirmations.  Now before you think I am just another hippie-dippie (I didn't even tell you about encapsulating my placenta yet), think about this:  we are already using affirmations every day.  Stop and listen to yourself for just one day to realize what kind of affirmations you are saying.  Are you saying "wow, you are fearfully and wonderfully made!" every time you step out of the shower or does it go more like this: "huh, my butt looks saggier than last year, those wrinkles on my forehead appear deeper and no matter how much sleep I get, those darn bags under my eyes never seem to go away!"  My guess is your daily affirmation is the more like the latter-it is for most women so you are in good company.  What if we start plugging in more positive self talk, making those pathways to the brain much stronger and then take a look at how it makes us feel?  Why not try it for a week, a month, a year? You have nothing to lose and everything to gain ;) Use a post-it note on your mirror with your positive affirmation and every time you begin to focus on old-negative thought patterns, stop and focus on the new one.  Your mind cannot focus on BOTH-it needs to choose.  See what a difference it will make.

For more insight in positive affirmations, check out Louise Hay on Youtube.  Most of her stuff I enjoy (I say most because there are a few times she can get a little too hippie dippie, even for me). She actually wrote a book on how you can heal ailments in your life with how you speak to yourself-I have the book and I can vouch it has worked for me on several occasions.

Lastly, UNPLUG from facebook, instagram. twitter, email, messenger, and TV (or at least set a time limit for yourself!) and instead invest in you.  If we want beautiful things to grow within us, we need to put beautiful things in us (ie. reading and listening to good stuff, talking to ourselves in a positive way).

Have an amazing week of aging ;)


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