Not just gray hair

It seems that when people think about aging they primarily think about physical age.  I frequently hear, “My back hurts.  I must be getting old.”  What people don’t realize is that there are not just biological aspects of aging but psychological, social, spiritual, and sexual aspects as well.  These can be independent of one another as well as intertwined.  Physical and biological aspects of aging that some experience, like body pain or weight gain near mid-life, can have psychological consequences such as feelings of depression, social aspects such as not wanted to interact as much, and sexual aspects like not wanting to be intimate with others because of changes in feelings of self-worth.  It is also not uncommon that older adults who spent much time engaged in spiritual activities, like church, may not be able to go as frequently based on physical issues and even transportation.  This can greatly impact the social aspects of aging, again, affecting psychological well-being.  

It is important to realize that, as you age, not everything is negative.  Not everyone gains weight as a normal part of aging.  Not everyone gets depressed and becomes a hermit.  You get out of aging what you put into it.  Choosing to focus on even one aspect of aging can have important positive impacts on the other aspects of aging.  Making healthy decisions can help with reduction of physical changes with aging.  For those that are having more difficulty with the social aspects of aging including reduction in spiritual activities, arrange for friends or family members to pick you up or host a spiritual function at your house.  In terms of sexual aspects of aging, continue your normal pattern of sexual behavior if possible.  This, too, can be beneficial to the other aspects of aging.      

As part of my own aging process, I notice my hair.  It isn’t quite as soft as it once was and I have had to stop plucking those gray hairs on the top of my head that I would see each morning.  There are way too many to do that now, and that is perfectly fine with me.  

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