Every year we age, change and hopefully grow. However, we don’t usually take the time to reflect on such developments. I feel that’s what birthdays should be for. Used to take the time to ponder the year that has passed and the lessons learned.

It’s interesting to me when people dread birthdays. What’s so terrible about getting another year older? At least you’re here to blow out the candles one more time. Birthdays tie into our feelings about ageing and ageing can be a very scary thing. Especially if they are just a reminder of how you are counting down the days, waiting for your life to truly begin.

In reality you’re in it, it’s begun, this is your life. Getting older can be overwhelming when you feel like you were destined for more. Regret can follow you like a ghost, constantly reminding you about the path you didn’t follow. The negativity can swallow you and make each passing birthday no fun at all.

If you want you feel less overwhelmed on your next birthday there are some simple changes you can start today.

  • Be grateful – make a list of all the things you are grateful for. Begin with the basics, a roof over your head, food in the fridge, good health etc. Gratitude has many positive side effects, try to embrace the good things in your life. It will help make it more difficult to find the bad things.
  • Let go of regrets – It happened, it was a bad choice but it doesn’t have to haunt you or define you. You have to choose how to move on from it. It might mean asking for forgiveness from someone or from yourself. There is no way to know how different life could have been, work on accepting the way it is.
  • What are you afraid of? Ask yourself why you fear getting older. Maybe you lost a loved one at a certain age so that age terrifies you. Maybe ageing only brings up negative emotions or difficult memories. Give yourself space to examine why you feel the way you do to gain a better understanding of yourself.

Many people go through their lives never asking, ‘How could this be better?’ It doesn’t always have to be a struggle. When the next birthday rolls around hopefully you’ll be grateful for the year that has past, appreciating the life you have lived.

“It is not true that people stop pursuing dreams because they grow old, they grow old because they stop pursuing dreams.” – Gabriel Garcia Marques

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