Why Social Interaction Is Essential
For years, researchers have known that everyone benefits from socialization --regardless of age or gender. We've all seen the tragic videos of neglected orphans who failed to grow and develop because they were kept in isolation and deprived of interaction with others. According to functional magnetic resonance imaging studies, or fMRI studies, ...Read more
Positive Aging: Senior Sweethearts
I have a dear friend who has been a widow for three years. She recently told me that special days, like her birthday, Valentine's Day or her anniversary always make her feel depressed. She knows that no one would ever love or pamper her the way her husband did. And that sobering fact always makes her really sad.
I let my friend verbally cry on ...Read more
Positive Aging: Gratitude Can Be a Two-Step Process
At this stage of our lives, especially if we are having a down day, it can be all too easy to tell ourselves that our lives were better when we were younger. My goal today is to remind you that sort of negativity can be a form of misguided nostalgia, because there is no payoff or upside to imagining that "the way things used to be" is somehow ...Read more
Are You Resistant to Change?
About 100 years ago, Anatole France, who won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1921, weighed in on the reason why change can be so challenging. He wrote, "All changes ... have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another."
As we age, for many of us anything that ...Read more
Positive Aging: Vanity - Senior Celebrities
I don't know about you, but I just love it when older celebrities choose to embrace their age rather than try to look several decades younger. Recently, there has been a spate of photographs circulating on the internet of famous seniors who are vibrant, active and (really) attractive -- even though they moved into what the entertainment industry...Read more
Positive Aging: Vanity, Part 1
There are plenty of cynical and clueless amateur social theorists who believe that after a certain age seniors no longer pay attention to or are invested in their appearance. According to these out-of-touch observers (maybe they're millennials), the middle-aged and elderly actively avoid gazing in mirrors. Instead, they prefer to focus their ...Read more
Psych Yourself Up
Unless you are blessed with superior, Zen-like mind control, you have probably noticed an unwelcome uptick in your anxiety levels as you've grown older. It's not uncommon for seniors to be burdened with a variety of age-related concerns -- on top of the ordinary worries everyone else copes with. But it doesn't help us to obsess and worry over ...Read more
How Happy Are You?
I've always liked this quote from Abraham Lincoln, who was known to suffer from major bouts of depression: "Folks are usually as happy as they make their minds up to be."
In the last decade, dozens of best-selling books have been published that dissect the various attitudes and techniques needed to get and keep a positive frame of mind. From ...Read more
Positive Aging: Dr. You
Unless you are part of a microscopic minority, something has probably happened within the last 10 years to serve as a reminder that you are not as physically young as you used to be. Perhaps you're a little stiffer in the morning. Maybe your tennis game is a bit slower. Or maybe you've developed an illness that has seriously affected the way you...Read more
Positive Aging: Be Bold
Have you noticed that something strange seems to happen after you reach the age of 60? The people in our lives, especially those closest to us, often make a quiet (but frequently misguided) gear shift into protection mode. Our children urge restraint when it comes to physical activities, our colleagues begin shifting stress-laden and travel-...Read more