7 Thoughts Not To Think As You Get Older

Thoughts Not to Think as You Get Older

Our personality and thoughts changes throughout our lives. Such age-related changes in how the brain manages memory, thinking, and other mental processes are called “cognitive aging.” Research says having positive self-perceptions as you get older can increase your longevity. However, a negative perception of one’s own aging was also observed in 436 participants (37.8%).

Change the ageist narrative in your own head.

Ageism is insidious. It’s everywhere. It looms in the spaces where we work, gets fed to us through advertising, and informs our economic structures. Ageism shows up in politics, is taught in schools, and influences our healthcare systems.

It also dwells inside of us. The ageist bias we carry within sways the choices we make and affects the way we feel about ourselves and others.

Ageism shows up first in our thoughts. Sometimes we are aware of these thoughts, and sometimes we are not. But ageist thoughts hurt us. They hold back our evolution. They inhibit our development. They fill us with shame.

Who needs that?

Here are seven thoughts not to think, and what to do instead.

1. It’s too late for me.

It’s a bad thought.

OK, so maybe there are a couple of things we missed the boat for. Perhaps fertility, growing another five inches, or making out with John Lennon should be scratched off the list.

But when you use “It’s too late for me” as a motto for living, you are poisoning yourself and damning your possibilities.

It’s not too late to do so many things as you get older. But thinking this way closes doors to the imagination and stymies motivation.

What to do instead?

When you notice the thought “It’s too late for me,” do something.

When Mary thought about joining a bicycle tour with her friends, she had the thought, “It’s too late for me.” As soon as she noticed the thought, she got her bike out of the garage and rode around her neighborhood. “I can do this,” she said.

Liz caught herself saying, “it’s too late for me,” when she thought about taking a business course. So she downloaded an article and read it word for word. “My brain is popping with ideas.”

Instead of thinking, do something.

If the thought is poison, the antidote is action.

2. My best self is behind me.

Love yourself even when you get older
7 Thoughts Not To Think As You Get Older

It’s a bad thought.

This thought can only make us sad. It’s tragic to believe that you, as your best you, are gone, done, forever lost.

Kate misses the body she used to have: “I was my best when I was 22.” Missy was adventurous: “My most thrilling life is over.” Susan loved taking care of everyone: “I was my best when I had my family all under one roof.”

Of course, it can be hard to let go of something or someone that we loved being. But do you want to spend your time mourning parts of yourself, or do you want to keep on becoming?

What to do instead?

Decide that you are getting better and better. Insist that the best is always yet to come.

Read 5 Ways You Can Love Yourself When You Are Feeling Lost

What is special, unique, and great about you now? Make a list. Make a collage. Write your positive assets on post-its and put them where you will see them.

Don’t listen to other people. You say what’s better about you. Take charge of the narrative about yourself. And make it a story that feels good.

Kate’s body is strong, and she is a good swimmer. Missy takes a trip each year. Susan hosts gatherings and nourishing rituals in her home.

We have a life behind us, and we have a life to live now in this moment. Let’s make it count.

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