Serenity Now!

Bea Boomer’s Vital Aging Project – 6/26/15

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Bea’s Buzz for Friday

Last Thursday Bea and her hubby dragged themselves out of bed at 4 in the morning so Bea could catch the 5:20 a.m. bus to Chicago to visit her daughter.  Arrival time in Chicago was 10:15 a.m. Bea planned on spending the whole day exploring the local neighborhood until her daughter got home from work.

The train was chugging along so smoothly, Bea texted Mr. B., bragging that she’d sure to be reaching Union Station on time! A few minutes later, that fantasy came to a quick halt, along with the train.

Just outside of Kalamazoo, Michigan, Amtrak #351 slowed to a crawl (a bad sign) then stopped, in the middle of nowhere.  The conductor announced that there would be a delay, due to some kind of incident occurring on the tracks ahead.  Even worse, he didn’t know when we’d get back “on track” to our destination.

Now I’m going to share a little secret:  Bea is not a patient person.  And as the train sat there on the tracks, Bea recalled a train delay several years before, when on her way to Chicago with family, the six hour train ride turned into ten l-o-n-g hours. Bea, a type A personality, tends to get wound up and ticked off in these types of situations.   

This time, however, Bea just happened to be reading the most current edition of Oprah magazine, and it just happened to be open to an article titled Hang Loose, which wasn’t about going bra-less.  This article was about r-e-l-a-x-i-n-g, and Bea had just read the #3 tip:  “Relax into whatever’s happening.”  (Coincidence?  I think not).  The point of that tip is that what happens in any given moment is not necessarily in our control.  What is in our control is how we deal with it.  (You know, that whole attitude thing).  

Not only that, but a very kind lady across the aisle, travelling with her husband and daughter, offered Bea some cherries and little cracker sandwiches to make the delay more palatable!  This lady was obviously prepared for this kind of occurrence, and made the best of it by being nice to others.  

This was an “ah-ha” moment for Bea, sitting on this stopped train (the delay was a couple of hours).  Instead of reacting in her usual type-A way, she ate her snacks, finished the Oprah article, listened to music on her Ipod (and managed not to sing aloud to the songs, knowing that she would frighten her fellow train passengers with her voice) and started reading a book she’d brought along.  Ahhh, serenity now. (What? You don’t remember that Seinfeld episode?  https://youtu.be/auNAvO4NQnY)

By the way, Bea had a great time in Chicago. 

For further reading:

Attitude is Everything, by Keith Harrell – find this book at Amazon.com (aka Dr. Attitude, who passed away in 2010, read more about him here)

Got the Gratitude Attitude?

Bea Boomer’s Vital Aging Project – Day 64 – 6/1/15

The other night I couldn’t get to sleep.  I’d had a difficult day at work and it kept me tossing and turning. Perhaps you’re familiar with that negative tape that continues to wind and rewind through your brain at night? Finally I managed to stop myself and put my mind to thinking about things I’m grateful for.  Not the typical stuff, like having a good marriage, an awesome daughter, and good health (though I am thankful for those things). 

No, this was all about the weird stuff.  Like I’m grateful for the sound of a train at night; for some reason, it makes me feel good.  I love cloud pictures and how they morph from one thing to another.  Frost on the windowpanes in the winter, which always make me pause to check out the intricate designs.  Ditto rivulets of water on a car window when driving on a rainy day. The smell of a freshly cut lawn. Hearing the song Somewhere over the Rainbow sung by Hawaiian singer Israel Kamakawiwo’Ole (who left this earth far too soon, in June of 1997) and of course, rainbows (especially those rare double rainbows).   

Beautiful rainbow over a rain forest mountain

Finally, I’m grateful to have the ability to get up and write down my ideas at 4:30 in the morning! 

In her book, The How of Happiness, Sonja Lyubomirsky wrote that expressing gratitude is the #1 “happiness activity.”  Ms. Lyubomirsky had the research to back up her assertions; but to be honest, I don’t need an expert to know that being grateful is good for me and makes me happier (along with helping me fall asleep).  I mean, it simply makes sense, doesn’t it?  

I can only speak for myself – but I know that when I’m taking my life for granted and get cranky or ticked off because things simply aren’t going my way, God has a way of showing me something that stops me in my tracks.  I’ll be watching the news, and see someone who has really big problems.  I’ll click on one of those FB posts about a child who’s suffering from a rare cancer. I’ll think about my oldest sister, who’s had her independence greatly hindered because of deteriorating eyesight; or my sister-in-law, who survived cancer and other health issues, with the help of PMA (positive mental attitude).  

Along with helping me sleep, gratitude for my life helps me focus on the positive, enhances my self-confidence, decreases my stress, and simply helps me appreciate the good stuff about growing older. And it sure beats the heck out of walking around with a dark cloud above my head.  

How about you?  What does gratitude do for you? 

©Bea Boomers Wellness 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lost: Bea’s Sense of Humor

Bea Boomer’s Vital Aging Project – Day 58– 5/15/15

bea

Bea’s Buzz for Friday: 

Lost – One Sense of Humor

Last Seen – May 10th, 2015

Reward $$ Offered for its Return! 

Please help Bea!  She’s lost her sense of humor. Really.  It’s causing her to take herself WAY too seriously and life seems so darned difficult!  Hopefully, she’s just misplaced it, like she misplaces her car keys and such (you know, this aging thing).  If Bea has lost her sense of humor completely, she’s simply doomed to a miserable life.

 She last saw her sense of humor while reading the Sunday newspaper. Silly woman, instead of checking out the Comics section, a gloom-and-doom headline caught her eye and just like that, her sense of humor walked out the door.

Then she noticed more bad news, and more and more and yikes, her sense of humor was running like heck down the road just to get away from Bea’s crabby self.

c166960_s  Oh, this is worse than just crabby – much worse!

Bea has to find her sense of humor as soon as possible.  Heck, everyone knows that humor makes our life struggles less difficult to bear and eases our stress.  

Laughter:

  • Relaxes us
  • Boosts our immune system
  • Releases endorphins (you know, those “feel good” chemicals)
  • Protects our heart
  • Helps defuse arguments
  • Enhances our friendships 
  • And so much more!

Bea has searched everywhere and now she’s getting desperate. There’s only one thing she can do! She needs to make herself laugh! But how?

Please help her, readers. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Need more encouragement to maintain your own sense of humor? 

 

 

 

Secrets of Centenarians

Bea Boomer’s Vital Aging Project – Day 52  

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5/1/15 Bea’s Buzz for Friday

Want to live to be 100?  You may want to take some advice from the centenarians who were polled (along with 65-year-old baby boomers) who were polled last year in UnitedHealth Group’s 9th annual 100@100 SurveyThe survey examined their health “secrets,” along with their attitudes about aging and their lifestyles. 

Not surprisingly, both the 65-year-old group and the 100 year olds feel younger than their chronological age.  While this fact may surprise younger people (you know, the ones who think 30 is like, beyond ancient), it’s certainly not news to Bea, who is a couple years this side of 60 and feels about 35! 

The “secrets” that the centenarians and baby boomers revealed aren’t too surprising, either. According to those polled:  

  • A positive attitude, and an ability to laugh at life, are key factors to good health in old age. (This has been proven again and again in scientific research – see below for additional reading)
  • Taking a pro-active approach to health by getting annual physicals, along with annual eye exams is another key to maintaining health and wellness. 
  • Finally:  Exercise, exercise, exercise! Good for both brain and body.  Both the 65-year-old group and the centenarians got regular exercise – which included strength training, walking, biking, even running. 

Then again, longevity could just be a matter of plain old luck.

Take a look at this year’s 100@100 survey, which polled centenarians and 10 year olds! 

Bea says:  Add Years to your Life, and Life to your Years

For further reading:http://beaboomerswellness.com/?p=98

Older People Become What They Think 

Attitudes about Aging Affect Longevity, Study Says

Sources:

Advisor/Source newspaper, (May 25, 2014). Centenarians reveal their secrets to a long, happy life. 

UnitedHealthcare website 

 

 

 

Bea’s Aging Philosophy

Bea Boomer’s Wellness Project – Day 35 – 3/23/15

I have a simple philosophy about aging:  

  • Do the best you can with what you have.
  • Be pro-active to maintain both your emotional, mental, and physical health.
  • Take responsibility for yourself.
  • Oh yea – have fun with it! 

Captureaa(Created at mywebface.com)

For me, the key is “growing old,” not simply “getting old.”  Like my oldest sister, who is 75, I call myself “age empowered.”   I hope to always feel this way. 

Now I know darn well that no matter how proactive I am about my health and wellness, there will be things that come up that will scare the hell out of me.  But I also believe that over the years, I’ve learned to become resilient.  I’ll do my best to bounce back from life’s curve-balls.

What about you?  What’s your attitude toward aging? 

Further reading about Aging and Attitude

Book: “Attitude is Everything. 10 Life-Changing Steps to Turning Attitude into Action.” (Keith Harrell)

This article describes 10 “thought distortions” that lead to negativity and provides some strategies that lead to positive thinking:  Positive Thinking for Healthy Aging

According to the American Psychological Association, people with a healthy attitude toward life just may live longer:  A Healthy Mind, a Longer Life

A person’s beliefs about aging (that is, whether or not they believe in those negative stereotypes) can affect both their physical and mental health: Older People Become What They Think

Aging is not lost youth but a new stage of opportunity and strength. (Betty Friedan)

 

©Bea Boomers Wellness 2009-2015

How to Build Self-Confidence for Vital Aging

 

Bea’s Wellness Project – Day 18 – 2/13/15

bea

Bea’s Buzz for Friday:  

How to create a habit of self-confidence

  • Listen to your self-talk – are you calling yourself derogatory names?  Do you kick yourself internally when you make a mistake?  Then ask yourself this question:  Would you call your best friend stupid, or refer to them as an idiot?  If you did, your friendship wouldn’t last.  You have to live with yourself every day.  You need to be your own best friend.  Make a concentrated effort to replace negative self-talk with positive self-talk. Need some help? Listen to positive thinking CDs and read inspirational books. Do some research; find out what it takes to change bad habits.  It won’t be easy, but it will be well worth it. 
  • Create a mind-set of gratitude.  Every night, before bed, think about the things in your life that you’re thankful for. Think about your accomplishments. Focus on the things you did well that day. This is a good way to rid yourself of that negative self-talk.
  • Create success for yourself.  You can do that by accepting failure.  This means taking risks and working toward your goals, even though success isn’t guaranteed.  Those inevitable failures in life are valuable learning experiences.  A failure that results in a “ah-ha” moment is a stepping stone to success in reaching a goal.
  • Take care of yourself, physically and mentally.  Eating healthy food and having a regular exercise program will help you achieve a confidence in your body’s abilities; along with boosting your self-esteem.  To enhance your mental health, take steps to manage stress, get enough sleep, and socialize with friends and family.
  • When conversing with others, make a habit of active listening. We often worry about what others think about us, but when we get to know other people, we find out that they have the same fears.  Listening to others and helping them become more confident boosts our own self-confidence.
  • When facing a situation that makes you apprehensive, such as an important job interview, do your best to prepare and practice, by using online and other resources.  When facing a new situation in life, it helps to research and learn about that situation in order to help you handle uncertainties.
  • Stand up for yourself in an assertive way and hold onto your values. Attempting to live by other people’s values and beliefs, rather than your own, makes you doubt yourself.
  • Finally, stand tall, and walk with a purpose.  Wear clothes that make you feel and look good. When people compliment you, simply say “thank you,” with a smile.  Take time to compliment others.  Don’t take yourself too seriously; laugh at yourself.  Socialize with people who are positive, not those who drag you down. 

Building self-confidence isn’t something that will happen overnight.  But it’s a trait worth pursuing, because it can help us meet life’s challenges with a ‘can-do’ attitude. This is an important key to vital aging.   

  It’s not who you are that holds you back, it’s who you think you’re not. (Attributed to Hanoch McCarty)

 

Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage. ~Anaïs Nin

A Journey to Self-Confidence

 

Bea Boomer’s Wellness Project – Day 17 – 2/11/15

Today, I’m just going to be myself, Camille – not Bea Boomer. 

Cam Photo

For many years, I lived with my eyes open only to my weaknesses and what I believed I was constantly doing “wrong.”  In high school, I tried to hide – I felt ugly. In young adulthood, I made wrong choices, based on my lack of self-worth.  In my thirties, I often felt my daughter and husband would be better off without me. 

It wasn’t until I was in my forties that I realized I had to take the steps toward building my self-confidence. My brother died unexpectedly at 50 years old, and I realized how short life was.  My life was passing me by, and I wasn’t living the life I wanted to be living! I was afraid, and didn’t think I had what it took to achieve my goals. The first step to change involved taking charge of my inner beliefs. 

At the age of 47, when I got a job in a workplace that offered tuition reimbursement.  I made a commitment to myself and finally pursued my dream of getting my Bachelor’s degree (many years after getting my Associate’s at a local community college).  I graduated with high honors at the age of 50.  I felt so accomplished! 

Then at work, I became one of the primary members of our workplace wellness committee, and I got the opportunity to write health/wellness email newsletters for the employees.  And people liked what I wrote.  Then a work friend gave me a magazine article about blogging, and encouraged me to start a blog of my own.  It was so cool to be doing something I’ll always be passionate about:  writing about health and fitness for women.

These were a couple of the things that made me realize I had something valuable to offer the world.  As does every woman I know, and those I don’t know (but who I hope are reading these words).   I’ll be 58 soon, and I’ve finally content with myself, flaws and all.  I believe that changing my outlook will help me “grow” as I age, rather than just “getting” old.

Vital aging is not only about resilience, as I wrote about on Monday’s post.  It’s about discovering the wealth inside yourself.  It’s about becoming the self-confident woman you should be, no matter what your age. 

For several strategies you can take to build your own self-confidence, see Bea’s Buzz on Friday, February 13th. 

 

How to Build Resilience for Vital Aging

Bea Boomer’s Wellness Project – Day 16 – 2/9/15

The thundercloud

Vital aging requires the ability to bounce back and weather life’s storms.  Some of us appear to have a natural resilience, coping with life’s changes and losses and coming back stronger than ever.  Others aren’t as lucky.

However, when you think about it, there’s often an important lesson, and even unexpected rewards that bloom from difficult times in life.  We just have to be able to see beyond the darkness of that moment. 

Research has shown that we can all learn how to become resilient, if we’re willing to try.   

Check out Bea’s strategies for building resilience, in her Building Resilience – 6 Tips article from EzineArticles.com 

 

 

Let us not pray to be sheltered from dangers but to be fearless when facing them (Rabindranath Tagore)

 

Introducing Bea Boomer’s Wellness Project for 2015!

Bea recently read in the newspaper that we’re living longer than ever. Sounds great, right? The problem is, we’re not living better. All the advances by medical science we have these days, and those of us born during the baby boomer years face more disability and chronic illness than ever.

Gen X, it doesn’t have to be that way for you ~ take charge of your aging, throw out those old stereotypes, and get ready for quality longevity! Generation X women, ranging in age from 35 to 50 in 2015, are at a prime time in their lives to take actions that will impact their everyday wellness  in positive ways.  This everyday wellness can lead to a healthier and more enjoyable aging process.

Often, all this involves is making simple choices that can be easily integrated into our lifestyles.  We just need to love and respect ourselves enough to take that first step.

Visit Bea on January 1, 2015, when she embarks on her 2015 wellness project.  Then, beginning on January 5th, come on back every Monday, Wednesday and Friday of each month for Bea’s health and wellness tips for Generation X women – covering the physical, mental, emotional and social aspects of healthy aging. Why fear aging, when we can change aging?

Silhouette of a girl jumping over sunset