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Avoiding Regrets

Here’s the reality of getting older – you have less time than ever before to make your life the best it can possibly be. That isn’t meant to sound negative, exactly the opposite. Think of it as a call to action. It’s time to take charge, face your fears, protect your health, and leave a legacy.

Think about it this way – what are some of the things you do not want to regret when you look back over the course of 80 or 90 years? Here’s a list of 5 regrets not to have:

Deciding it’s too late to make new friends

The older we get, the more we realize how friendships shift and change during transitional times of life. A new job, having children, getting married or divorced, becoming widowed, or relocating all change our friendships. However, you are never too old to make new friends. Find folks with common interests. Someone has to initiate the conversation; it may as well be you.  Of course, don’t lose touch with your old friends. Make it a point to reach out to them on a regular basis. You never know, you may even reignite an old romance.

Holding a grudge

It’s been said that holding a grudge is like drinking poison in the hopes that another person will die. Sounds rather morbid, but the truth is, holding a grudge hurts you far more than the one who may have offended you. In fact, researchers at Hope College discovered that when study participants thought about their enemies in “unforgiving ways,” the stress response—sweating, heart rate, blood pressure—increased. And Tina Tessina, Ph.D., psychologist and author of The Ten Smartest Decisions a Woman Can Make After Forty, adds, “Forgiving doesn’t mean it’s okay that the other person did what she did; rather, you’re saying, if only to yourself, ‘ I release you from this resentment.’” There’s a world of difference.

Feeling too awkward to tell others how much they matter

Many people grow up in families that didn’t show much emotion where expressing feelings seems foreign.  However, telling those you care for that you appreciate them is important. Not expressing your love to others can ultimately separate you emotionally from them. Send a note, call, or stop by and tell your family members and friends how much they do mean to you.

Neglecting Exercise

As we age, it becomes more difficult to maintain our health. Joints begin to ache, muscles seem weaker, and we get dehydrated more quickly. Just because it may not be easy, doesn’t mean we should neglect physical exercise. Weight and strength training can help build weak muscles and ease common aches and pains. These types of exercise stimulate the grown of strong bones, which protects from pain, fractures and osteoporosis.

Not traveling more

Travel does not have to be an expensive habit. Certainly, there are those big trips you might want to plan for; but small, day trips or weekend get-a-ways are a great way to recharge your batteries.  The time is now. Start small and save for the big one.

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