When my mother got old, her back was bent like the top of a cane. She looked curled even when she stood. Like a drying leaf that’s fallen from a tree.
Gradually, her body pulled in, shoulders and neck forward. Head canted down. She became smaller and smaller until one day she wasn’t there any more.
Do you know people like that? People who, when you see them after a few months apart, look noticeably smaller?
Shrinking and curling are common patterns of aging — particularly in women.
Usually, as people loose mass and stature, they retreat into themselves becoming less confident and bold.
Retreating into Oneself – A Side Effect of Aging?
Having watched my mother shrink into herself, and having myself reached “a certain age,” I’ve been thinking about how to prevent or at least delay that process. I’ve asked myself the following questions…
- Which comes first — retreating into oneself mentally or shrinking physically? And if you work on one aspect, will that make a difference in the other?
- When you are able to stand straight and tall with your head up and your chest open, does that keep you more present and engaged for longer?
- Is it really possible to change your shape and posture once you’ve settled into your adult stance and patterns?
I imagine scientists have studied all of these questions, but I haven’t looked into any formal research. Instead, I’ve been doing a bit of research of my own.
Can Posture and Stance Affect Your Mindset?
For the past few months, I’ve been going to the gym to build the muscles that hold me up straight. Core, back, legs. And as I build the muscles in my back that hold me up and straight, I’ve been stretching the ones in my front to open me up.
I’ve discovered that I can feel and see a real difference. Even just sitting at my computer, I’m taller and straighter.
But here’s the kicker… the straighter I am and the stronger I feel physically, the more confident I feel mentally.
Now I know this is just a band-aid. I don’t believe in living too long. But I believe that we can and should set up the years we have left to be the best they can be.
And now, in honor of my mother, I’m off to the gym! I wish she were here to go to the gym with me.
Are you Standing Tall and Feeling Great?
Catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror or a shop window. Take a moment to really notice. Are you standing straight and tall? Then, imagine what it would feel like to be stronger, taller and fitter. That’s it. I leave the rest to you!
Share your ideas in the comments below. Or, mosey on over to Facebook and share your ideas there.