Welcome to our newsletter on strategies for aging positively. Here we investigate, discuss, and challenge attitudes towards aging.
As Albert Einstein said, "We Act As Though Comfort And Luxury Were The Chief Requirements Of Life, When All That We Need To Make Us Happy Is Something To Be Enthusiastic About!"
... This is something that we ALL need to consider at any stage in life.
From Relaxation And Imagination Comes Inspiration!
We mentioned in the last newsletter that we would be introducing our first skill and turning it into a resource.
You and I know that to get through life at any age, takes above all a lot of energy.
This need does not diminish as we get older. It probably increases.
We find ourselves thinking about the past, worrying about the future, and dealing with the present.
We also mentioned in that newsletter that for obvious reasons we are committed to the "No Pain, No Pain" philosophy.
We agreed that there is enough emotional pain without introducing more physical pain into the equation.
We talked about the importance of Imagination and Relaxation.
You would have to agree that both these skills are both pleasant and painless when used constructively.
As Aging Positivists we are definitely committed to living constructively.
I am delighted by the feedback that I am getting from each newsletter. The last one in particular seemed to appeal to people even more-so.
They say they found it pleasant and simple as we got on with the business of positive aging.
Many people had not realized the power of imagination and as they tried it out in conjunction with relaxation.
They were genuinely surprised by the results.I think they secretly just liked the absence of pain and stress!
If we are concentrating on relaxation and imagination there is a great chance that there will be less stress.
Albert Einstein (Physicist & Nobel Laureate) put it beautifully when he said "I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world".
I mentioned in my last edition too , how I had seen a stage hypnotist when I was in my early teens with my brother and how we were fascinated by how he could make people do amazing things at the click of his fingers.
He said to one young fellow; "I want you to imagine that you are the world's greatest violin player". I watched with great interest as I happened to know this lad. To me it was very funny how he went about it.
This happened in a local Theatre in the 1940's back in Ireland.
About two weeks ago I happened to watch a documentary on one of the worlds great violinists. I recalled vividly that night back there, seeing a young farming boy, doing exactly the same movements with every part of his body down to the stance and facial expressions of this virtuoso.
I knew this lad. He didn't have a violin and would have never seen anything like that in his life. How can that happen?
For me the wonderful thing about this is that it gave me a great thirst for knowledge of how the human mind works and how people behave as a result.
When I saw that documentary I realized I am no nearer to any answers. Maybe I should say "Thank God for that"!! What would we do if we had all the answers?
Life would be so boring!
Don't forget; "IMAGINATION AND RELAXATION ARE A GREAT COMBINATION"
As we advance into the next stage of our journey of "more gain without pain", we will continue from where we left off last time.
I hope you have practiced the last instructions.
Some people say they can't find a comfortable place to do it, or there are too many people about.
Well, the world is not always a perfect place.
You can practice any of these exercises any where you are; in bed, watching TV, being a passenger in a car, on a bus on a train or a plane (Please don't do it if you're driving any of these machines!).
You may be in a waiting room or at the airport or in your office.
Remember you are not visibly doing it you are just using your imagination.
When you get used to practicing this skill, and as you get good at it... it is now available for you as a resource.
As I said earlier, a skill is only useful when you use it as a resource to enhance your own life or that of somebody else.
You and I, as Aging Positivists need a lot of energy to keep up with life's demands.
To do this we must find a resource to conserve our energy.
You will already have noticed as you practice these skills that you find you have more energy and feel much better in yourself.
Medical experts advise people that they should have some time during the day to release the stress.
We introduced this in the last edition with the four simple steps;
1. Sit or lie down as comfortably as you can.
2. Imagine that your arms and hands have just collapsed in to a state of complete relaxation.
3. Imagine that your legs and feet have just collapsed into a state of complete relaxation.
4. Imagine that your face has just collapsed into a state of complete relaxation.
Each time, try to "imagine" what it would be like if this happened.
Imagine what that feeling would be like. Keep the imagination going, that is what will make it work for you.
You will notice that your breathing has slowed down.
Now go through 2-4 again and imagine what it would be like if that feeling extended through your whole body.
Again imagine what it would be like if this happened, how would you feel?
To help your imagination to make this feel real, I am going to ask you to do one more very important thing. This will make all the difference...
When you have completed the above routine, in your mind, say very gently and kindly to yourself: "I just love this feeling of complete relaxation".
Say it like that maybe a few times in a most relaxed manner. It will make all the difference!
I can completely relax now within seconds, but I have had lots of practice and I also know it works.
If you find it a bit difficult in the beginning don't worry. It will happen for you, it always does.
It's a matter of using that formula until it becomes automatic.
This will then become your core system for relaxation whenever you want to do it. It will become a habit.
It will also be a most valuable resource to use in so many circumstances throughout your life.
We are all at different stages of perfecting this skill, depending on how much we have practiced it. Just keep doing it every chance you get.
Don't berate yourself if you are not making as much headway as you would like.
You can do it. "Just imagine what it will be like" when you have mastered it.
We are going to use this resource to be able to have a quick nap any time of the day for as short as 10 minutes, or no more than 20 minutes.
Medical people call it a Power Nap. or a Super Nap. I heard it called a Snap.
I like that because that is exactly what it is; A Snap.
Just do the steps above to relax, then stay in that position for ten to twenty minutes.
It really invigorates you it releases stress and it is quick. Ten to twenty minutes is ideal.
It is not recommended to go over the twenty minutes otherwise you get drowsy and it is counter productive.
It is meant to be different to a full-on rest.
I know the results first hand. I have used it for over 40 years.
In the next edition we will enhance this resource by introducing some breathing techniques and the use of the senses.
We will also introduce the "Four Minute Foray". Get ready to be excited.
Until the next time; happy "Snapping".
Oh, before you go, remember what Aristotle said: "The Soul Never Thinks Without A Picture". Sound familiar?
See you soon,
Joe Brennan - Aging Positivist.