Do you ever find yourself focusing on the negative aspects of situations? Do you often wonder how to stop negative thoughts from entering your mind? When your otherwise perfect day is interrupted by an unpleasant conversation, do you find yourself unable to get back in a positive mood? If so, you’re not alone.
In the 1950s, in Kansas, where I grew up, little girls always kept their legs together when sitting. They were seen and not heard. It was unthinkable to have the same privileges as boys – like not wearing shirts on blistering hot, humid summer days.
I can confidently say that every single woman in the Sixty and Me community has been hurt, betrayed or cheated on at least once in her life. In fact, by the time you reach our age, it’s likely that you have a long list of grievances against other people.
It’s funny the things you start to realise, as you get older.
I have been told I am a smiler, complete with a one sided dimple. Over the years, a sunny smile has gotten me through some difficult times and challenging situations; and yet I am only just beginning to appreciate the power of a genuine smile.
For my 14th birthday, my mother gave me a copy of Sue Townsend’s “Adrian Mole Aged 11 3/4” – a humorous children’s book. In it, she wrote “To our daughter – a female Peter Pan.” I was thrilled.
Several years ago, while out shopping with a close friend, we had a somewhat disturbing conversation. This friend is about 18 months older than I and, at the time, had just turned 60.
Women over 60 have a lot on our minds. In fact, you could argue that, as a group, we are thinking too much. We worry about our kids, so far away and yet so close to our hearts. We obsess about whether we have saved enough for retirement. We wonder whether we will be able to stay healthy and fit in the coming decades.
Children are naturally hedonistic. They play recklessly, eat carelessly and dream unreasonably. Over the years, society drills into our heads that pretty much everything fun is either “wrong” or “bad for you.”
Sometimes it is the simplest ideas that can make the biggest impact in our lives. For example, have you ever thought about the benefits of hugging? Hugs can increase our happiness and reduce the stress in our lives. They can also help to reinforce our most important social bonds. So, if hugs are so important, why aren’t we getting enough of them?
People who surround themselves with positivity have an easier time seeing the good in other people. The reverse is also true. People who teach themselves to see the good in others tend to be more positive and experience happiness more deeply. Seeing the good in others requires us to question our assumptions, but, it is worth the effort.