The old saying goes, “You’re only as young as you feel.” But we live in a tough world. How can we possibly keep a youthful outlook on life when we have bills to pay, mouths to feed, and a roof to keep over our heads? While it’s true that we’ll certainly never be able to relive the carefree days of our childhood, we can live our lives to their fullest potential, and in doing so stay as fresh and invigorated as we were when we were young.
1. Keep good friends around
Keeping good company will keep you socially happy and healthy throughout your life. On the other hand, nothing will drag you down more than socializing with people who hold you back from your full potential. Ironically, surrounding yourself with people who are intent on moving forward in life will keep you energized and make you feel as if you’re always in your prime. It’s when you find yourself surrounded by toxic friends who live in the past that you realize you’re not getting any younger, and you’ll start to feel as if the best days of your life have passed you by.
2. Continue learning
Saying someone is “old-fashioned” is just a nice way of saying their behind the times. If you get into the mindset that you’re “too old” to learn something (like how to use Windows 10 or an iPhone), you’ll certainly feel that you’re past your prime. We live in a world in which education and knowledge is literally at our fingertips, and it’s never been easier to pick up a new skill or hobby. Make it a habit to learn something new every day, and you’ll continue feeling sharp and ready to take on the world. Soon enough, you’ll be showing your children tips and tricks on the iPhone 6!
3. Enjoy the little things
When we were kids, we jumped in puddles, rolled down hills, and ate snowflakes falling from the sky. I’m not saying you, as a grown adult, should do these things habitually (except eating snowflakes; you’re never too old for that). But you should never overlook the small things in life. Celebrate your good hair days. Feel victorious when you hit every green light on the way home from work. Actively look for things to enjoy in your life; no matter how much may be going wrong, there will always be something to smile about if you look hard enough.
Nothing will make you feel old more than not being able to physically do something you were able to do when you were younger. The saying “it’s like riding a bike” is a misnomer; if you haven’t ridden a bike in years, you might remember how to keep your balance on it, but you probably won’t make it more than a mile or two before you start to feel the burn. Do your best to get to the gym as much as possible, especially as you get older. Your body will continue to get more and more fragile as you age, but you can still stay in as good a shape as you possibly can.
5. Keep laughing
You’re never too old to get a case of the giggles. Just watch any sitcom outtake clips on YouTube for proof of that. What’s the point of living if you’re going to take life too seriously? Just because you have obligations in life that you might not really want to take care of doesn’t mean you can’t have fun along the way. Like I said before, look for the little things in life to enjoy, and don’t suppress the raw emotion that a hysterical situation elicits within you. Never let yourself get to a point that you can’t let go and fall into hysterics every once in a while.
6. Don’t take guilt trips
Everyone makes mistakes. Constantly harping on yourself for missteps you’ve made in the past will drag you down and keep you from attaining your full potential. And when this happens, you lose precious moments of your life that you’ll never get back. Of course, this leads to a vicious cycle in which you continue to look back on your past in a negative way, and in turn become depressed about your future. You should definitely learn from your past mistakes, but don’t let these mistakes ruin your future as well.
7. Remember when you were young, and pass it on
When my father and grandfather tell stories of their youth, I see a twinkle in their eye showing they remember these days that happened forty to sixty years ago as if they were yesterday. It’s not so much that they’re pining for their youth, but that they’ve carried these cherished memories with them for so long and are able to bring them back to life by relaying them to me and my sister. You don’t want to tell these “back in my day” stories as if you’re disgruntled at how things have changed, but instead you want to pass on the fun activities you did as a child so a new generation can experience them as well. When you see your kids and grandchildren enjoying a pastime you remember enjoying back in your youth, you’ll instantly be transported back to the time in your life when stickball and fishing was all you had to worry about.
Featured photo credit: Tercera Juventud / DiNo via farm9.staticflickr.com