Fear of Aging? How to Get Over It

Eight ways to see growing older as full of possibilities and adventure.

We live in a world that is obsessed with looking young and beautiful. Faced with loss of youth, many of us feel profound fear, loneliness, and regret—which leads to the depressing idea that the best years of our lives are behind us.

What if you could change your entire perspective on aging? What if you could bring back the joy that you felt in your youth? What if you could see your life as something that continued to be full of possibilities, opportunities, and adventure?

Often our preoccupation with the loss of our youth prevents us from welcoming the changes and mystery the journey ahead presents. But you can make a radical shift toward embracing the gifts of aging. Here are eight ways to create a positive and wonderful aging process.

1. Cultivate Your Relationships
The older we get, the more crucial it is that we matter to someone and feel a sense of connection to at least one important person in our life. Whether they are family or friends, if you stay in regular contact with those you are close with, calling them regularly and hanging with them in tough times, they will relate not to how you look, which of course will change, but what you are deep inside. Harsh experience will always hurt, but friends who stand by us shield us from the impact. In their company, we find a place full of peace and love.

2. Connect With Your Spirituality
We need to be in touch with more than just our day-to-day routines and reality. As the poet Gerald Manley Hopkins says, “There lives the deepest freshness deep down things.” We very much need constant contact with that freshness and life.  Whether it is through meditation, prayer, or humbling personal experiences that show us how human we are, we can all find that sense of meaning in life that goes beyond ourselves and gives us an inner refuge and home.


3. Make a Difference
As Mother Teresa of Calcutta used to say, “The world is hungry for our help and our love.” Animals, people, and the earth all need our service. Choosing the field we can best help in, we tap into our inner power and act to make a difference in life.
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Dr. Stephen Ruppenthal
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