Experiencing aging anxiety? Surprising tool that can help you reduce it
It's not uncommon for individuals to start experiencing aging anxiety as they grow older.
While we have been taught to enjoy our youthful years, no one talks about aging well or the joys associated with it. The connection between age and anxiety is not linear. That doesn't mean that as you age more, you are likely to feel anxious. However, there can be certain vulnerabilities that lead to anxiety.
Is there a way to beat them or at least manage some of them? In a study published in Physical Activity and Health, a group of researchers explored the relationship between aging anxiety and exercise in older African-Americans.
While aging is a natural process, there are associated worries. It appears that a positive attitude towards exercising is a surprising tool to manage aging anxiety.
Aging anxiety and role of exercise in managing it
Am I going to experience anxiety as I get older? That can depend on many factors. According to the aforementioned study, gender plays a role in how anxious you feel.
Women may be more anxious about psychological factors, including loss of relationships, role in society, loneliness and others. Men may be more anxious about productivity level and physical appearance. However, the findings are only limited to a small sample.
Nevertheless, they bring to our attention important concerns older people may experience. It's important to remember that people of all ages need support and care, which may become especially important as they get get older.
Social isolation and loneliness can significantly add to their anxiety, making them feel helpless and hopeless. One common factor that helps maintains aging anxiety is society's perception of it.
We see old age and our inevitable death with intense fear and dread. When we approach it, we have no means to deal with it.
How can I incorporate exercise to manage my aging anxiety?
It's not just about exercise but also about the attitude you hold towards it. If you are in your youth or middle age, it's essential to keep your physical activity up.
While the effects may not appear immediately, they will show up in your later years. They will not only be a protective factor for your physical health but also a stress buster.
Aging anxiety can be managed with a sense of control. When you take charge of your mental health and self-care, you learn to regulate anxiety at any life stage. Active aging is a powerful tool.
Imagine anxiety and old age on a graph. While it may peak at certain points, it's likely to go down with positive attitude and experience.
If you are getting older or have someone older next to you, you can help yourself or them by being empathetic. Each life stage has its own worries, but aging anxiety can be particularly scary.
While we can't change society's perception overnight, old age can be a time of fulfillment. It can be a life stage when we reflect back on life's joys and retire without resentments and regrets.
Janvi Kapur is a counselor with a Master's degree in applied psychology with a specialization in clinical psychology.
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