“Words You Use To Describe Your Age Can Affect Your Health and Fitness”

In my last blog post I spoke about the way the words we use about our body can affect the way our body gets to look.  I find that many of my posts have ended up being about the use of words. I truly think that the way we express how we “feel” about ourselves of about situations (or,  more truthfully, how we were taught to feel about ourselves and situations)  affects the outcome of that situation and how we end up “feeling” about ourselves. I know this can sound simplistic, but I’ve discovered that the way in which I word things has an impact on the way those things turn out. I’ve seen this happen countless times to friends of mine too.

Words can change things other than weight and fitness. Saying, “I’m getting old now”, implies that the things that have been associated with “old” in our culture are going to show up for us because we’ve lived a certain number of years. It’s amazing to me how often people who speak that way start looking older and start getting pains and start walking slowly, etc. etc.

I’m not trying to say that you’ll never become ill or have pains if you don’t speak that way. However, I do think the illnesses and pains will be less likely and less severe if you don’t expect them to come. As we live longer our age will become a higher number. Granted our bodies will eventually wear out – or – hmmm – maybe I was just taught that bodies eventually wear out. It does seem that they do just as leaves on trees wear out.

There are people like the songwriter Ervin Drake and his wife Edith who are incredibly “young” in their activities and in the way they look. They’re in their 90’s; but you can’t really put a number on who they are.

Will some people become unhealthy who have been vital and who are actually younger in terms of years? It appears that this can happen and does happen.  Yet thinking  “Oy, I’m old…” does seem to make the people who think that way appear old and wear down more quickly.

I’m not an MD and I haven’t done vast studies with great numbers of people and control groups. I’m just speaking about what I witness.  I do notice that people who use the “I am” old, etc., phrases – rather than I’m experiencing this or that or I have these symptoms  – do appear older (as we’ve been taught “old” appears) and do tend to get the symptoms they’re making part of themselves.

When I say I’ve been having forgetful spells lately I’m not saying that I need to keep having them.  I can research ways to change this condition. When I say “I’m forgetful!”, I’m labeling myself as forgetful and that means I can’t change it. I’m Barbara. Saying, I’m forgetful is making forgetful who I am! I’m experiencing back pain is different that saying, “My back is bad”.  If my back is bad I can’t make it “not bad”. It’s the way it is. If I have pain, I can find ways to get rid of that pain.

What I’ve found most uplifting is that when I look at certain conditions, conditions that I was taught not to like, as though they were fun – my whole body feels more youthful and energetic when it’s dealing with those conditions.   This happened today!  That’s what inspired me to write my “Reveal the star you truly are” blog about this. The weather in NYC was very (what we call) hot. When I left my apartment to do my daily walking and accomplish tasks I needed to accomplish, the temperature was 98 degrees!

I am healthier now than I was as a young girl and I can take and, actually, enjoy both hot AND cold weather. As a child I was only comfortable when it was very hot out. I’d freeze when it was 50 degrees.  I consciously decided to think as I did as a child and bounced down the street thinking, “How lucky we are to have such a gorgeous and hot day! Nothing hurts me when it’s HOT!”

I knew I was making this up. I’m fine in cold too now.  People in the street were panting and I was bouncing down the street singing as I walked to the bank to pay my credit card bill.  Two friends told me, on the phone, that they felt too ill to do anything that required them to leave their air-conditioned apartment. One even said, “I’m always sick when it’s too hot now that I’m older.” Do you hear the “I AM” in this last statement? Also, what is “too hot”?  They were making TOO hot a fact and making that they “are” sick when it’s hot a fact.

By the way, my friend was “older” when she was 3. Well…she was! She was older than when she was 2.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t guard your skin and your head from the suns rays. We know they can do damage. That’s not because we’re too anything. That’s just a scientific finding about the sun’s UV rays. I did wear a brimmed hat and Sun Guard cream. I believe I can take care of myself in the sun and so I can.

Are you following what I’m saying? This can all sound picayune – but using the “I am” form when speaking of your age and/or health can make that “am” come into being.  Saying, “I have lived for many years.” Is different from saying, “I’m old”, especially when “old” has negative connotations in your head because of what you’ve been taught that it’s negative to be older.

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Published in: on June 25, 2013 at 9:09 pm  Leave a Comment  

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