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Life does not stop at 50 – it starts!


life starts at 50 imageArticle by Dr Lynda Shaw

Did you have a midlife crisis, a second wind for life, or a smooth transition where you barely noticed turning 40 and then 50?

For many, myself included, life starts at 50!  Although physically your body may be changing as gravity takes control, with age comes acceptance and we become more comfortable within our own skin. As priorities in life change, we realise the first person to please is ourselves, rather than trying to please everyone around us. If you are happy with yourself, then you are likely to have more positive relationships with those around you. Recent studies have showed those aged 50 + tend to be less stressed than those in their 20’s and 30’s.

Are you a baby boomer who visits the gym, has sessions with personal trainers and attends yoga classes?  Do you use Facebook and have smart phones, tablets and laptops?

Typically it is during our 50’s when our children will leave home, gaining independence and becoming less reliant for support and guidance, thus altering household dynamics. Once any initial feelings of sadness or anxiety are dispelled, concentrate on your newfound freedom to steer your life in whichever direction you desire – life does not stop at 50, it starts!

Are you bored in your job, in need of a change of career but it seems there are too many hurdles in the way?

Whether it means returning to education, re-locating your home or simply putting everything on hold to travel the world in search of different experiences, adrenalin fuelled or culturally enlightening, anything is possible.

Do you view getting older with optimism?

Do you live in fear of the increasing decades, or view our getting older with optimism and a chance to seize new opportunities?! 

Maturing is an opportunity to grasp new perspectives, and look ahead to new opportunities and experiences. The important things in life come to the forefront, and we are better equipped to dealing with any challenges. A survey of more than 340,000 people published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in 2010 actually found overall feelings of wellbeing to improve as we pass middle age.

When’s the last time you organised a party for all your friends and family of all ages?!

Today’s ageing population means the 50 plus market represents the largest demographic in history. As we live longer, we are given more chances to get ‘it’ right, equally more chances to keep making the same mistakes. Providing we grasp these new opportunities, learning and building from our mistakes then life can only improve with age!

Top Tips to Slow Ageing Down

  1. We can help keep our brain stimulated through learning new things, maintaining a healthy diet rich in proteins will also aid cognitive brain functions.
  2. Stress interferes with hydrocortisone levels in your body, influencing everyday brain functions and memory.  Maintain a positive outlook on life, not letting tension or stress from outside sources affect your own wellbeing. Exercise classes such as Pilates and Yoga can help to minimise stress levels.  Or run and dance – have fun!

Image: Freedigitalimages.net

Dr Lynda Shaw

Dr Lynda Shaw has lectured in Psychology and Neuroscience at Brunel University and conducted research on brain function and impairment, specialising in consciousness, emotion and the effects of ageing

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