My three sisters and I had the opportunity to attend a very worthwhile seminar this past Thursday. There was no charge for this event and it was provided by Mrs. Nancy Craney, Executive Director, Wellstar Behavioral Health. The workshop was interactive and it was entitled: AGING GRACEFULLY.
Besides the fact that I was sitting at a table with my three big sisters that I love so much, this was such a beneficial use of our time and we are indebted to Mrs. Craney for all of the good information she shared with us that day.
As a fifty something woman, I want to share some of these tips with all the women that I know, regardless of their age or their season of life. We ALL need encouragement, edification, and continued education as we journey through this life.
I found it enlightening that in a recent study, aging women were polled regarding this question: "Is getting older better/worse than you expected?" 51% of those questioned stated that it was better than they expected.
Many times, it is our perceptions that may be more negative than the actual experience.
In our workshop, there was a great emphasis placed on optimism and its role in aging. While some may believe that optimists are reckless and not "watchful" about future events, multiple studies have proven that optimism is highly correlated with strong self-esteem and a boosted immune system, as well as, a resilience against illness. Through this discussion, we were reminded that optimism can be learned if one is more in the habit of pessimistic thinking. To train oneself in optimism, in a recent Wellstar newsletter, three suggestions were made by Mrs. Craney: (1) Practice self-awareness-question an immediate sense of doom and gloom-ask ourselves what might be positive in the situation; don't jump immediately to the negative.
(2) Take responsibility for what happens in life-do not be a victim of circumstance-take control where we can. (3) Study the positive effects of optimism on the body and begin to believe that it may have healthy effects on the immune system-that you may benefit to learn to look at the world more positively.
We cannot control aging, but there
are five health tips we CAN and SHOULD control:
---KEEP REGULAR CHECK UPS---
---EAT LOW FAT---
In closing, Mrs. Craney reminded us that women are a really powerful bunch and that includes you and me! With aging, we gain wisdom. Let's teach our daughters, granddaughters, nieces, and all the other young women who are coming along behind us,
to see the quality in the aging woman. We have a role to help the youth to relax about aging. As we grow, let's change what we can and let go of what we can't change. As we journey, let's agree to disagree and give others the right to be different.
Mrs. Craney ended this workshop on a lovely note when she shared the following video with us:
Our time together was enhanced by a lunch of scones and quiche in a local tea room where our niece, Amy, surprised us by joining her Mama and three aunts. And here, at lunch, we accomplished one more part of aging gracefully, we laughed, we loved and supported each other on this journey we call life.
And bonds like this, between women, don't come along every day, but we will all greatly benefit from strong family and friend connections as we live out our days.