10 Ways To Love Life Even More After 40
People are finally starting to realize that midlife can be the best time of your whole life. It’s all in the approach. One of the easiest ways to achieve a blissful midlife is to rebel against some of the negative, frightening myths we’ve been taught to believe await us when we start aging.
As a psychotherapist and author with more than 20 years of experience, I've had the chance to delve into the realities and the myths of midlife—and the findings are inspiring.
When you look at the science, it quickly becomes clear that midlife is not the time of loss and invisibility we’ve been socialized to believe. In fact, it’s a time of growth, change, and enrichment. But to fully embrace these possibilities for happiness, we must first follow these essential strategies.
1. Continue to transform yourself and your life.
It’s never too late to become a better, more polished version of yourself. You can't remind yourself of this often enough.
2. Discover who you really are NOW.
Midlife gives us the opportunity, even the responsibility, to discover who we really are and what we really want—to find our true purpose in life. This is a time to pursue dreams, not to quit dreaming.
3. Feel young.
Knowing that our brains and bodies won’t fail us anytime soon can influence us to look and feel younger. It also induces the behavioral patterns of someone more youthful. A youthful attitude enables us to be more productive, feel happier, and to be more hopeful about our future.
4. Dismantle your faulty mindset about midlife, and replace it with a whole new paradigm.
Get in touch with your inner adolescent energy by rebelling against society's “It’s Too Late For Me" attitude. Reject this old, false idea and embrace the renewed and inspired life of possibilities ahead of you.
5. Resolve your regrets and move on!
Life is about failing up. Use regrets to your advantage—as a wake-up call to inject new meaning and energy into your life. Use them to create new opportunities for yourself and then move forward with confidence.
6. Embrace a “You Only Live Once” attitude.
It'll let you to see the possibilities out there for yourself. It allows you to say yes to life in a way that’s more exciting.
7. Dress for the life you want.
Use your clothes as a tool for self-empowerment. Be your own art project. Experiment with different looks. Use fashion as a way to express yourself and discover your new inner desires.
8. Determine what "having it all" means for you.
During midlife, we need to see ourselves as the successes we already are. Don’t define yourself or your success too narrowly. Own the difference you make in the world, no matter how big or small it may be.
9. Adopt a spiritual perspective.
Embracing a spiritual perspective leads to overall feelings of happiness, especially when it comes to life satisfaction. Embracing spirituality lowers depression, reduces anxiety, and lowers our stress levels. It also helps us to focus on what really matters in life, while allowing us to connect to others in a more meaningful way.
10. Validate yourself.
Midlife allows you to look no further than yourself for validation. Listen to your inner voice. Honor your own feelings and explore who you are really meant to be.
The reality is, it’s taking us all a little bit longer to grow up and with the advances of modern medicine, it’s about time we fundamentally change the way we think about and see our future. Midlife can be a remarkable time. We have a lot of years ahead of us. This is not the time to retire our goals or fade into the backdrop of life.
Our present and future happiness will depend on the choices we make for ourselves TODAY. Midlife has become a whole new life phase. It’s the perfect time to reboot our lives. You have an unprecedented chance to live the life you truly want. You’re in the driver’s seat, so go enjoy the ride.
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Robi Ludwig, PsyD, is a nationally known psychotherapist, award-winning reporter, and author, and she is a relationship contributor for Investigation Discover Network’s Scorned. She is a regular guest on CNN, FOX News, and Headline News, and has appeared on Today, Entertainment Tonight, 20/20, World News Tonight, Nightline, The View, Steve Harvey, and The Wendy Williams Show, and is on the medical board and a contributor for Bella Magazine. She is the author of Your Best Age Is Now: Embrace an Ageless Mindset, Reenergize Your Dreams, and Live a Soul-Satisfying Life (HarperOne; April 5, 2016).