Have you ever heard a young person say, “I feel old?” What does it mean to “feel” older than you are? And why do we so rarely hear senior citizens say the opposite—that they “feel” young? What is “old” and what is “young,” really, anyway? Who decides where those lines are drawn, and why should it make a difference to you?

The truth is that it shouldn’t. Why treat yourself differently based on the number of years you’ve been around?


Of course, it’s a premise that’s easier said than done. Women in particular experience a lot of external pressure based on age. With a little shift in your mindset, however, you can start to see your age as something working in your favor, rather than against you.

Tips to help accept aging


Appreciate your experience

Look back on the past with grateful eyes and find reasons to celebrate your accumulated wisdom. Have you made it through struggles and hardships over the years, all the while discovering how resilient you can be? Have you achieved things that make you proud, forever reminding you of your inner potential? These moments and memories shape your self-image and, year after year, that image grows sharper. In most cases, young people only have blurred and uncertain perceptions of themselves—they do not yet know the true extent of their capabilities. Recognize that only time can put these traits into clearer focus, and there is value beyond measure in the time you’ve had to better know yourself.


Become a mentor

What if, rather than lamenting the passing of your youth, you passed on your hard-won wisdom to someone else? Mentorship programs are a great way to reach young people that need a little guidance, and being a source of guidance can help you reconnect with your youth while helping someone else. If you have younger nieces, nephews, and cousins in your family, mentoring them is a great place to start as well.


Learn something new

On the other side of the mentoring coin is learning something new from someone else. Don’t fall for the myth that you can’t teach an “old” dog new tricks. Taking up a new skill, hobby or even investing yourself in a new professional direction will revitalize your mind as well as your mindset toward your age. In addition to learning something new, you’ll also be reminded that your brain is still capable of growing in meaningful ways.

At the end of the day, the importance of your age is decided by your attitude. You can spend the rest of your life pining for your younger days, or you can embrace that life is an ever-changing, ongoing process of growth. Perhaps that, in a nutshell, is the best mentality to have when it comes to the passing of time: you haven’t just aged, you’ve grown.

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