The Aging Mind’s Outlook

Current political upheaval aside, I feel fairly optimistic about my future. Sure, I’m somewhat concerned about my okay health, about having enough money to last my remaining days, and about not outliving my precious, somewhat disabled, cat. But this is just my outlook on the future.

As a senior citizen, how do you feel about the future?

When you look ahead, how do you feel about your life? Are there things that keep you awake at night? I know current events keep a lot of us on edge more than we want.

Are there things you’ve been putting off that, once taken care of, will improve your overall outlook?

Studies show that about a third of all senior citizens feel age is a state of mind. That’s good news.

Having a positive outlook is important if you want to be happy as an older adult. My state of mind varies from day to day, but I try to remind myself of the big picture when little aches and pains settle in or when I’ve said or done something to upset someone. I can be my own worst enemy when it comes to maintaining an upbeat vision of what lies ahead.

Improving your outlook

People have expressed increased optimism about their future due to their affiliation with a spiritual community. Sharing world events and like experiences with a community of like-minded people is a powerful tool to increase optimism. Trust and support are increased within a group of harmonious individuals who feel similarly about the big issues in life.

Another way to improve your outlook is by staying abreast of technology – not all technology, but the products and devices that directly improve your life. I will always want to know how to operate most functions on both my cell phone and my laptop. Obviously, as a writer, I need both to complete research and writing projects. But there are several features in my car that I have never learned how to operate, and I don’t think it matters since I drive fewer than 350 miles a month.

A third way to enhance your outlook is to keep busy doing something you thoroughly enjoy. This thing that you enjoy doesn’t have to be weight lifting, or public speaking, or winning chess tournaments. A positive outlook can be doing something small, like reading to children, or petting kittens at the local human society. For me, it can be reading a great book or cooking a nice meal for friends.

Finally, I am reminded of a quote from Buddha that says, “If you light a lamp for someone else, it will also brighten your path.” So, doing for others can go a long way to improve your own outlook.

Your outlook defines you. Keep working on it.