- Head: Headaches due to tension, forgetfulness, and inability to concentrate
- Ears: Ringing
- Shoulders:Hunching over, as if 'I feel like I have got the weight of the world on my shoulders'
- Chest:Racing heart, high blood pressure, palpitations
- Stomach:Cramps, heart burn, indigestion
- Back:Low back pain due to spasms
- Genitals:Lower sex drive
||FINDING MEANING AND PURPOSE IN LIFE
- With senior years and retirement, you must find new meaning and purpose in life. Retirement often surprises people with feelings of emptiness. Life is exciting and fulfilling when you feel you are making a contribution. If that feeling has grown out of your job, it stands to reason that when your job is no longer there that you will have to find some other way to feel fulfilled. So the question naturally arises: How do you cope with the loss of a loved one or retirement from your work?
- Some key questions that you may need to ask yourself in order to adjust to changes:
- As you reflect on your life, what have been your greatest accomplishments? Remember how good you felt while doing the things on your list. You might even want to share those good feelings with a friend.
- As you look back on your life, what have been your greatest disappointments? What are some of the things that you have learned from those experiences? Did some of those experiences lead to good things that you did later?
- What is there in your life now worth living for?
- As you think of the future, what is there that you would like to do?
- What is your philosophy of life?
- When you look back on your life, has it been worth living?
- What is the best part about being an older person?
As you recall your life experiences, what advice would you give to a youngster just starting out?
At first glance, thinking about these questions might cause you to feel some tension. Our culture has programmed you to feel good about yourself only if you can be extremely successful and prosperous. As you ponder over these questions, we hope you will feel good about your accomplishments in life, while making some realistic short-term goals for yourself.
The internal journey that you embark on can be an exciting and fulfilling one. A major challenge is learning to find a philosophical system or spiritual outlook that helps you face your limitations and find meaning in existence. The spiritual struggle then becomes one of living in harmony with the universe. For years, you probably worked hard to be financially secure, have material comforts, reasonable success and good health. Surely, you have achieved it to a considerable limit. Often, however, seniors realize they need more of it. For this, shaping a workable philosophical system or faith becomes a very important coping strategy.
Some of the elements of faith that make coping more effective are belief, commitment, love, grace and hope. Belief may enable you to find some answers in your later years. But authentic belief will give you courage to live with integrity even in the face of threat and loss. Coming to grips with your limitations as an individual, admitting that you do not have all the answers in life, and allowing some higher power to run the world will make you feel more relaxed and at ease. A commitment to a workable philosophy will ground you as you move ahead into the future.
You develop new goals and values by determining what you uniquely give to life. It may be as simple as a warm smile to the child next door or it may be the development of new criteria for self-evaluation. Pride can be derived from the success of others, especially those whom you have had an opportunity to influence to a reasonable extent. If you can realistically come to terms with who you are, reconcile your past, and adjust your expectations for the future, you can truly find a more graceful pace in your life. The natural outgrowth of these principles of faith will lead to a sense of hope and satisfaction.