A few days ago, I was eating breakfast with my husband in a local diner. It’s a true diner straight from the 1950s, complete with background music from that era. I couldn’t stop myself from be-bopping to the music and singing along with each tune. A man sitting alone in the booth behind us commented, “They don’t make music like they used to!” I replied that these songs brought back a lot of memories for me, to which he replied, “I have a lotta years on you. I’m in my mid-sixties.” I smiled and answered, “I am right there with you.” He looked at me and said, “Well, the years have been a lot kinder to you than to me!” Ahh, if he only knew my secret! Good genes? Low stress? Eating right? Exercising? Yes, to all of those elements, but the most important part of the aging plan is all in your head – a positive attitude!
Most people are aware of the placebo effect – the phenomenon where people get better while taking a sugar pill if they believe that they are taking a medication. In other words, people will get positive results even without taking the cure if they think they should get better! But, how many people understand that the power of our thoughts can also create the opposite result, known as the “nacebo effect”? Yes, we can talk ourselves into having an ailment or ache if we truly expect it to happen!
Because I am a member of the Baby Boomer generation, maybe I am more tuned in to hearing the common laments about “getting older” or I have more opportunities to hear it based on the company I keep. My peers joke about having “senior moments” and how “things have shifted” in their bodies. They grunt as they rise from a chair – whether they need to or not!
The truth is that the calendar pages seem to turn faster as we get older and for some people, this fact brings up fears and limiting beliefs that truly affect their choices and influences how they experience getting older.
At the core of our beliefs about what it means to age are the experiences we have had by observing older family and friends, plus what the media and society tell us. If we had negative experiences or poor models, then we may have internalized the messages as THE way things have to be. If so, it colors everything we do and often not in a good way. Perhaps you remember your Aunt Sadie using a cane since as long as you were aware of her. Maybe you asked her, as any inquisitive 5-year-old might, why she needed a cane when she walked. And, maybe her answer was something like, “Because I’m old!” When you look back at the incident from your adult perspective, you realize she was probably the same age you are now. So, your unconscious self decides it must be time to pick out a cane! You send this message to your cells and they respond with the aches and pains to accommodate your belief.
Also, telling your cells they need to behave “old” will have them acting that way. Saying things like, “Everyone in my family gets diabetes in their sixties,” or “Having a senior moment!” as a reaction to misplacing your car keys or forgetting someone’s name all feed into the belief that getting older means degeneration and decline.
And, that’s why Emotional Freedom Technique can help. Getting to our core beliefs on getting older and tapping on them until we feel a shift in understanding will slow down the aging process.
Questions to ask yourself about your feelings about getting older:
What do I think I will lose or have to give up as I grow older? Possible answers: Freedom, my home, going for hikes, my good looks, my friends (as they pass on), my friends (as we become less mobile)
What are the things I expect to change as I get older? Possible answer: More illnesses (diabetes, heart ailments, arthritis), worsening eyesight, hearing loss
Whom did I watch getting older and what did I see?
Using EFT to discover and clear the blocks created by these beliefs will surely create the opportunity for more satisfaction and less anxiety about the years adding up. Awareness from the exploration of our beliefs will open us up to what else is possible, allowing us to enjoy to the max each day we spend here on Earth.
If you are interested in discovering and clearing your own limiting beliefs on getting older, please contact me for a free, 20-minute consultation.