The Importance of Adaptability
Adaptability can best be described as remaining open to change, able to accept the unknown, freedom from learned responses.
Did you know meeting change with resilience instead of bitterness can actually extend your life? The world is harsh, however, if you can learn to bend a little instead of being stiff and breaking, if you can learn to enjoy and be happy with whatever comes, it changes your whole biology. Because you see our psychology actually dictates our biology.
Ask yourself these questions:
Do I respond creatively to change?
Am I free from anxiety?
Do I continually create?
Do I continue to learn new things?
Responding creatively to change is when something out of the ordinary comes up, you can look at it and think of positive ways to make it work out. You don’t freak out and panic, but you embrace it with the attitude of, “Great, something new, how can we make this work to our advantage.”
Free from anxiety. Anxiety is a psychological response that causes your biology to change. When you send your body into panic mode all kinds of things start happening. Your heart rate increases, your blood pressure goes up, causing stress on the heart often leading to coronary events if not treated. Anxiety can suppress your immune system, cause all kinds of digestive disorders, it can also lead to depression and dementia. All things which make us age.
Continuing to create. What is it you love? Are you a writer, if so continue to write. Artist, fishing, hiking, climbing, you get it. Stop listening to the learned responses such as, “I’m getting older, I probably shouldn’t hike that far,” or “Climbing is too dangerous for a person my age,” or “No one wants to read something an older person is writing,” or “I can’t bounce back like I used to,” and instead you just keep living, guess what, you keep living.
Have you ever seen 80 year olds still out hiking? I have! A couple summers ago we were hiking a 2,000 foot incline in only 2 miles at Crater Lake. It was very difficult for me despite the fact I’d been hiking for several years. Much to my surprise a very elderly couple blew past me. When I got to the top they smiled and we started a conversation. I asked how old they were, the wife was 79 and the husband 83! Do you think they listened to the voices saying, “You probably should stop doing that you’re too old?” Absolutely not! They had been avid explorers their whole lives and just never thought to slow down, and guess what, their bodies never gave them a reason to, because their psychology controlled their biology.
Continuing to learn new things can be easy as reading new books, taking a different route, playing games, traveling to new places, learning about the weather where your kids live. The idea here is you never stop using your brain. You don’t sit sedentary in front of your TV mindlessly watching the same things day in and day out. By learning new things you allow the brain to compensate for natural tissue loss. Learning new things stimulates the neurons in the brain which form new neuron pathways and allows electrical impulses to travel faster.
Can you learn to Adapt
“Perhaps you need to learn to let go of the notion
that things could have been different..
I, like many others have suffered with anxiety. I used to really panic when my plan didn’t work out. When faced with the prospect of a new change, I would typically revert back to the comfort of just staying complacent. Change is scary, especially when it’s not expected. The loss of a job, a spouse leaving, a loved one dying, a flood, a hurricane, tornado, etc. These things all happen. But how can we learn to adapt instead of stress?
A little stress is obviously natural in any of the above circumstances. It’s when the stress doesn’t go away that we’re in trouble.
Things I’ve found that have relieved my anxiety and allowed me to live a happier healthier life are: meditation, exercise, a healthy diet, sleep, and therapy.
When you take a little time to sit quietly with yourself you can go over things that are happening and how you’ll handle them, before they happen. You know you’re about to face an ugly day at the lawyers office, or you have to clean up after a natural disaster, etc. When you breath deeply especially sighing out the negativity you’ll find it’s much easier to face. You know you have to face it, why not face it the best way possible. Go in with a smile, let’s get this done, how can we make something positive out of it.
Daily exercise has been proven to relieve stress, it relieves tension, improves sleep and elevates your mood and self esteem. Combine this with eating a healthy diet, stay away from unnatural foods, and you’ll improve not only your physical body but your mental one as well.
I’m one of those people that struggles to get 8-9 hours of sleep. However, I wake up feeling refreshed and energetic with around 7. I do rest during the day, usually napping for about 20-30 minutes. I have found that when I eat lighter at night, usually I don’t eat past 4:00 unless it’s a handful of nuts or a little fruit, I sleep much better. If you struggle with sleep, try black out curtains, ear plugs, or an app that plays sleepy time noise such as the ocean waves or water trickling. Getting adequate sleep re-charges your brain, improving your focus, concentration and mood. Getting adequate sleep alone can reduce stress and anxiety. If you still struggle, seek help from a therapist.
I’m a Certified Life Coach and as a Life Coach I can tell you that talking to someone about your stress and anxiety can literally save your life. I have a great Coach that has helped me figure out ways to change my life to make it less stressful, and also just laughed with me through some very tough situations. If you need someone to talk to seek out a therapist or life coach or even just a sister, brother, friend that will understand and hold your confidence.
You know aging is a natural process, but it literally takes the organs around 103 years to start breaking down naturally. That means that everything else isn’t natural. Try to remember that the oldest and healthiest living people say these three words a lot: Happy, Satisfied and Enjoyable. Because our psychology dictates our biology.
Cause I’m not there yet, but perhaps, Soon Enuff.
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