When my mother turned 40, she went into mourning.  I remember her being depressed for weeks.  When she turned 60, she was old, decrepit, and literally waiting for the grim reaper to come to the door. 

That was almost 30 years ago.  Now, more and more of my clients are calling me as they approach 60 and beyond.  The startling and fabulous thing about most of them is, they are viewing this net phase of their life as an adventure.

There are tons of articles called, "Is 60 the new 40?" 60 is the new 40, 70 is the new 50, and I suspect 110 is the new 90.  People are living longer today, they're healthier, and they're enjoying life more. More importantly, people are feeling much younger than people their age felt in previous generations. And, with that comes the desire for spiritual growth and guidance as well.

Sixty can be the new forty if you do your internal spiritual, mental, social and emotional work. 

1. Spiritual

This one is quite simple. Research shows that those who have spiritual components to their lives do live longer and with less disease. Including a spiritual component in your life can be an important part of your quest to not only make 60 the new 40, but for 60 and beyond to be the absolute best times in your life.

2. Mental

I read that all of us should dance more in order to stave off Alzheimer’s and other related changes in our mental functioning. It is in the value of the activity and the brain stimulation involved. It is really about finding an activity that you enjoy. The benefits for brain stimulation will follow. Our brains need to be involved and engaged daily in order to maintain a high level of functioning.

3. Social
We can now communicate with people instantaneously via the Internet, cell phones, and texting. However, these interactions do not take place face-to-face, and we lose the most important aspect of communication: nonverbal dialogue, which accounts for approximately 92% of our total communication with others.

We need to be active to socialize face-to-face, and we need to get out of our houses and about our communities for socialization to occur. The social model for learning is the strongest model there is. Once we stop learning, we have begun to put our brains and our bodies at a significant disadvantage for higher levels of healthful living. By all means, get out and visit others as much as you can. It will enhance brain stimulation and growth, and can have great physical benefits as well.

4. Emotional

Psychiatrists and psychologists tell us that one in three people in the United States needs clinical help. There are many things that we can do to assist ourselves in this quest for overall balance. Balance equals wellness.  Emotional wellness is the result of many factors. A positive outlook, happiness, exercise, eating right and good sleep each night can contribute greatly to overall balance in our emotional lives.

Each of us has the opportunity to make choices as we hit 60 that fit our personalities and lifestyles the best. Approach it like the Chinese definition of the word “crisis,” which is that it can mean either “danger” or “opportunity.” Which will you choose?

 

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Comment by Trevor Taylor on October 24, 2012 at 2:03pm

I totally agree that the social model for learning is the strongest model there is. The liveliest over 60's I know are those who haved a well used book shelf, a scrabble set in much use, the newspapers open at the crossword page and pens and notebooks scatterred around the house. A friend of mine in this age group has gone back to studying on an external programme and it has really transformed how she thinks and her discussions are great fun. It really does pave the way for 'higher levels of healful living'

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