Posted on July 4, 2016
It’s time to rebel!
“Some people are so anxious about growing old that they cannot help but leak that anxiety into every situation that calls for them to remember something – a friend’s name, someone’s address, the place where they left their keys” Ageless Body, Timeless Mind –Deepak Chopra.
You’ll be pleased to know that my little experiment with the mobile phone worked a treat. Well, most of the time. It took a few days to train my mind to focus on the phone but as long as I was aware of myself putting it down I always knew where I had left it. Amazing! I only ‘lost’ the phone when I was stressed or focussing on something else and therefore only aware of the current crisis.
So pleased was I with the results – and relieved that I wasn’t ageing as rapidly as I thought (and that others implied) – that I read around the subject in more depth and came to the conclusion that we age ourselves by relating every lapse, whether it’s tiring while running for the bus (this can be improved with exercise), putting on weight (this can be altered with a healthy diet) or losing various objects (which can be remedied with practised attention/mindfulness), to getting old.
A little exercise goes a long way…
We buy into the fallacy that with every passing year our bodies and minds are disintegrating but there is a lot we can do to stave off this deterioration and it starts with changing our expectations. It’s time to rebel and change our mindset. Certainly we shouldn’t allow others to tell us we are getting old on the basis we have forgotten to collect the dry cleaning!
Whilst researching the ageing process I came across an experiment conducted in 1981 involving two groups of 8 men in their 70’s. They were taken, at different times, to a converted monastery for a period of five days. Everything around them reflected they were in 1959. Both groups were tested before entering the monastery and various markers were recorded: hearing, sight, memory, dexterity etc.
The first group were encouraged to reminisce about the period of their past but that was all, whereas the second group were told to live the period. Talk about the politics of 1959 as though it was current. After the five days both groups were reassessed. The group that ‘lived’ 1959 showed marked improvement on their dexterity and sight as well as looking more sprightly and energetic compared with the control group. There was nothing specific to memory but a general improvement in all aspects was noted.
This experiment was replicated in 2010 by the BBC involving celebrities and the results were similar. The subjects were rejuvenated, completing tasks with ease that a few days before were deemed impossible.
These were people in their 70’s and 80’s!
YOU’RE NEVER TOO OLD TO BE YOUNG!
There are pockets of communities all over the world (Healthy at 100 by John Robbins) who ignore old age and are able to live active lives.
As a writer I listen and observe others and I constantly hear people in their 50’s and 60’s say they are getting old. Nonsense!! Stop making excuses and put in a little effort. Mindfulness takes effort. Learning how to use new technology takes effort. Exercise takes effort. Meditation takes effort. I know because I don’t make the effort! But knowing that something can be done is a start and being able to find my phone over the past two weeks has made me determined to make more effort on all fronts.