Except from Daily Cures, Wisdom for Healthy Aging by Connie Michaelis
Maintaining our energy as we grow older is a critical topic for Seniors. We often reflect on our youthful years and the fantastic energy we had. Books and programs abound that promote various ways to increase energy. Physicians, dieticians, trainers all have their own opinions about what works best. Dieticians want us to eat right for maximum strength, while doctors want us to lower blood pressure, control our blood sugar, and take medications to increase energy. The world of exercise science has bloomed into an $80 billion industry. I’m sure a hundred years ago, no one could imagine needing a gym to increase energy! Physical trainers are all about building muscle mass to combat fatigue and lethargy. All of that is excellent advice, but there is another form of energy that is often overlooked. It goes far beyond taking care of the physical body.
Resilience is a specific type of energy that is a combination of attitude and mental toughness. It is the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats, or significant sources of stress. As we grow older, we may have a mindset that says we can’t bounce back to our former strengths, but that attitude exposes the energy we are lacking. Resilience is not a trait that people either have or do not have. It involves behaviors, thoughts, and actions that can be learned and developed in anyone. We see this energy exemplified by people with positive attitudes and a willingness to adapt. Since health challenges and life changes are a part of our lives, we need to exercise our resilience muscles. Staying engaged in healthy relationships is essential. We need to keep an open mind and resist adding drama to an event. We need to know that change will always happen and that we can anticipate and prepare for that. Just like a palm tree is designed to withstand the hurricane winds because of its resilience and adaptability, humans can bounce back after a storm.