This post will hopefully help you identify how you can move into and enjoy your new mature life.
Live your best life no matter your age! How can you live your best life over the age of 50? more importantly can it be done without regrets, is that possible?
Short answer is definitely yes. Granted it requires some positive self affirmations and a shift in mindset together with some self-analysis. This may require small (or big, depends on perception) changes in your life.
But how can you live a life without regrets? Maybe you can’t, but what you can do is not look at your previous life, with its mistakes or lapses of judgment and no matter the size or the scale of the mistakes they are your life lessons and you will have learnt from them and they need not be regrets.
A tall order and possibly a huge challenge but I can show you how being over 50 or 60 will not stop you living your best life and with the right mindset you will welcome at the next chapter of your life .
The image below indicates two people who may well benefit from reading this post…
Steps To Living A Great Life at 50+
I have met many people beyond the age of 70 (never mind 50) who a long way from preparing or accepting their upcoming demise and are certainly not waiting for God. Many live an active and healthy life and may even challenge themselves into a new pursuit and whom believe (genuinely) age is not a barrier especially as they now have more freedom than when they were on the 9-5 treadmill.
This begs the question is retirement a prerequisite to living your best life?
My Grandfather lived until he was aged 99, he retired from his own business age 65. Then slowly became morose, depressed with little reason to get out of bed in the morning much to my Grandmothers dismay. After much discussion he went back to his business were he continued to work until age 85. Granted fewer hours but nonetheless he felt fulfilled and had more purpose.
Every day, until his death, his hygiene and dress standards never dropped.
*1/ Retire But Do Not Retire
Many Physicians and clinical experts agree that retirement from a purposeful life is the quick route to death or dementia. Granted the latter will not be thwarted by working, however keeping that Grey matter active certainly helps retain a longer shelf life in memory terms.
When you were younger and where previously a problem could be managed, dealt with and moved along, can (as we get older) become an all consuming nightmare which produces stress and anxiety. Two components which are triggers to mental health and heart conditions.
Perhaps the answer could be part-time working, or offering some of your time on a regular basis in a voluntary capacity, possibly consider involving yourself with the local community, (do you have a skill which you could teach your peers), or perhaps consider looking at some form of online work, like writing your own blog, or possibly affiliate online marketing, or any of the variants where you can challenge yourself and may earn a bob or two.
NB There is a film featuring actor Robert De Niro called “The Intern” worth a watch.
*2/ Exercise (Yes That Old Chestnut)
Whatever keeps you challenged or interested, then do it. No matter what it is, cycling, swimming, gardening, Golf, sailing, paddle boarding, the list is endless. It doesn’t need to be a Zumba class or an expensive Gym Membership but just get active and stay active. For example, my other half loves “Metal Detecting” and walking, he can be doing both of these hobbies for hours at a time. Hobbies combined with exercise also have a dual benefit which enable you to be sociable
*3/ Sociable. (Making the Effort)
Widening Your Horizons, Being sociable, even when you think you can’t be bothered will keep that mind fresh, combining with your hobby will ensure that exercise is covered.
I have written a blog about this very subject and finding a new soul mate – click here to read how to become more sociable even if you are nervous
*4/ Gratitude & Mindfulness
You may well ask how does having Gratitude help with living your best life.
10 years ago I read a really good book, I continually read this book, even to this day as it reminds me of how far I have come. It highlighted how resentments and a continual negative mindset can and do have a catastrophic effect mental health. Easily leading to very poor behaviour and life choices and attracting similar people.
We may know a person who often complains, never sees the silver lining, has a “poor me” mentality and is completely unable to take any form of responsibility or contrition for their actions, this because they believe it is always someone else’s fault. The mood surrounding them can be toxic and is best avoided. You may find come the end of the conversation you feel down and aggrieved.
If you feel you maybe a little guilty of this type of behaviour then it’s time to change.
Every day, (on waking preferably) say out loud. “I am grateful today because” – this may seem gratuitous but speaking out loud will stop the mind wandering. Say at least three things you are grateful for today, and not just a repeat of yesterday.
I work in an environment where people have little to be grateful for, however by continuing the “Gratitude Lesson” allows even the residents with whom I work to say ” today I am grateful because” I have witnessed firsthand the power of gratitude and mindfulness. A really good app for beginners is on You Tube “Mindfulness For Beginners”
*5/ Be Proud – No Matter Your Age
Being comfortable with yourself may take training, especially if you are newly single. Your self-esteem may have taken a real hit.
Accepting you are no longer going to have the 20-year-old body you once had is no reason to feel embarrassed or concerned. The people you are likely to be seeking will also be of similar age and may well have equal self-esteem issues.
Start with personal grooming, this will now be a regular fixture in your diary, it is also a great bit of “me time” and adds hugely to confidence. If you can afford a colour and hair cut regularly then that too will ensure your always look groomed.
Exercise, it doesn’t have to be the Gym Zumba class nor does it have to be boot camp, but you should regularly be exercising, this can be as simple as a 10-15 min of daily Yoga, walking the dog that little bit longer, or indeed joining the local rambler group. This will help with mental health, sleeping and if joining a group based activity can be a convivial and safe place to make new friends and contacts.
*6/ Be Ruthless with the Wardrobe.
This is something which requires some degree of courage. Getting rid of comfortable old faithfuls is difficult, but look at it as an excuse to replace with newer updates, especially if you are now sporting a newer toned you.
I will write a full blog post over the coming months about how you can have friends look at you admire your style and have real “wardrobe envy”
A Life Without Regrets – How?
Some days when you least expect it, regret and guilt move into our headspace, “why did we take the new job and leave the old one” why did I have an affair and kill my marriage” why did’nt I move to the new town or country I so loved, or conversely, why did I move and leave the old one I loved” Why didn’t I start my own business” and so on.
Each and every action has a cause and an affect. Some with good results some inevitably with not so good results. This is life and without any risk will be a life without much of a life. Accepting you were a different person when you made those decisions is key, your decision then may or may not have been right, never the less you are here today and what you do today is key to your destiny tomorrow.
Regret, followed by guilt can and will affect mental health in a negative fashion. However, despite it all you can change, small little incremental changes in your mindset will shift the balance and I assure you they will bring about a powerful new way of thinking. First you have to have acceptance. Acceptance as to what happened yesterday, without blame is the key to living a fulfilled life today
I was taught a powerful lesson 10 years ago and follow it every day and it starts with gratitude.
As previously mentioned, “gratitude” first thing in the morning allows for a positive mind shift. I also live by the practice of acceptance, this is to understand that I and others are human, mistakes will be made and to forgive (either yourself or others) will ensure you are able to live in the present. A life without resentments is a freeing experience and will remove the “poor me” syndrome. Granted it takes time to like yourself and even more time to forgive others, but you can and you should. Just remember this, the person to whom you are feeling resentment is not suffering, but your well-being is.
“Forgiveness doesn’t mean I accept what you did. It means what happened doesn’t control me anymore”
Why Life is Better After 50+
You have made mistakes, you have lived a life, you now have more acceptance and less stress than when you were in your 30s. Research shows that there is something called “The Happiness Curve” which increases as we move into our 50s and 60s and even in our 70s. Better able to deal with our emotions and much better at dealing with disappointment. Research also shows we have a pragmatism in our later years that was not evident in our youth.
Called The “Happiness Curve” Just brilliant
Summary Take Away – Living A Great Life
- Keep The Grey Matter working
- Like the person in the mirror
- Forgive yourself and others
- Gratitude & acceptance
- Help others
- Widen Your Horizons
I would like to thank you for reading thus far, I hope this blog post has helped in some measure, your thoughts on the subject would be invaluable and would love you to comment below.
Some Related Questions
RQ1/ How do I recover from a break up in later life.
Never easy, however these days there is a wealth of support online. In addition, broadening your Horizons and following some of the suggestions above may help. Be kind to yourself and take the time. It will not be an easy road but it will be one you will learn from and may be able to offer support (later down the line) for others like you.
RQ2/ Mistakes that can stop you finding happiness
There are no mistakes that will stop you finding happiness, just your mindset. Change this and you will see a different person looking back at you in the mirror. The paragraph “Life Without Regrets” will hopefully show a way forward.
I work in an environment where some of the most troubled and socially deprived souls live. They may have nurtured hate and self-pity over many years, but equally I have seen recovery and a profound change where they alter their own perspective, they go on to live a fulfilled life and then ultimately help others.
See you all soon
Founder of Hey Spring Chicken
NB Images are Pixaby, Shuterstock, Own library