How many times have you blamed your bad memory on your age?
So picture this scenario—You’re walking up the stairs to retrieve something, you enter the room and exclaim. “Now what did I come up here for?” Then scratch your head you say, “God I’m getting old, my memory is so bad”.
Or sitting down at your desk at work and finding yourself staring blankly at the screen. And your thoughts run along the lines of “Now what was I doing? Getting old is such a pain”.
Easier To Blame Our Age For A Bad Memory
We blame our age, not just for our memory but for a number of things. But didn’t you forget things when you were younger?
Once in my youth, when returning from a business trip in Panama, we stopped over in Florida. My colleague and I missed our connecting flight. You see we were people watching and forgot about boarding. We then had to run like the clappers to catch another flight, which was being held for us. On top of that, as we got to security my 20 something colleague forgot his passport.
Boarding the plane we were faced with very disgruntled passengers. The long haul flight had been waiting for us and it was 1:00 am in the morning.
“Was your connecting flight delayed?” asked the foreman of this gaggle of grumpy passengers that surrounded us as we edged down the aisle.
Nodding vigorously I pushed my colleague into his seat before he could say anything, “Yes of course what other reason could there be.”
Hiding behind our seats, we vowed we would stay joined at the hip for the rest of the flight for safety reasons. We were tired, we forgot. End of.
Yet when we get to that magic number of 45, we blame everything on our age.
- ability to exercise
- desire to go out like you used to
- willingness to try new things
- …I could go on but I’ve only so many years left…
Throughout our lives, we’ve forgotten things. As a parent, think how many time you remind your children to remember stuff.
Top Tip: If you have forgetful children don’t tell them “Don’t forget (insert appropriate item)”, remind them to remember, it works a treat.
Thoughts Or Feelings Get Expressed In Your Body
So what? You may ask. Well when you get over that magic number, whenever you slip up, you make age the culprit. Instead of being tired or stressed, which is more likely the reason.
There is a rule of the mind —You cannot have thoughts or feelings without them being expressed in your body. If you keep telling yourself you have a bad memory, then very quickly you wont even know where you’ve parked your mobility scooter.
All joking aside—thoughts create chemical reactions in your body.
Statements like “I’m losing my marbles”, “My memory is bad”, “I’m getting old”. Are strong emotional statements. So they nestle in the subconscious mind because it is your feeling mind. Once you accept these ideas, they create the same reaction in your body, over and over. Basically, you are programming you to be old.
“Age imprints more wrinkles in the mind than it does on the face”.
Michel De Montaigne.
Be mindful of what you say to you, as the subconscious never stop listening.
The placebo effect is when the mind, through positive suggestion, improves health. Conversely, when the same mind is engaged in negative suggestions that can damage health this is the nocebo effect.
So stop berating yourself for having a bad memory next time you’ve forgotten something. Instead say “Oh that happened because I’m tired, or I was in a rush”.
Because old is permanent, tired is temporary.
And another rule of the mind, once an idea is stamped into your subconscious mind it stays there until it is replaced by another idea. And the longer it is there, the harder it is to replace.
What You Focus on You Move Towards
Dr. Ellen Langer a psychologist at Harvard Medical School put ‘What you focus on you move towards,” to the test, in her famous experiment where she recreated the environment for a group of 75-year-olds. Their whole environment was backdated to when they were 55. The participants were subconsciously tricking their minds and consequently their cells to believe they were younger. The end result, their biological age was reversed by up to 10 years.
Getting older is going to happen. But you don’t have to get old. Stop attributing things to your age. There are plenty of role models that have defied “Becoming an old fogey”. Tina Turner for one. My friend’s mother is 80+ and she supports a number of people in her community who are younger than her. Why can we not see this as the norm?
Just because you no longer party until all hours, doesn’t mean to say you are slowing down. It probably means you are getting wiser. You know what to expend your energy on. You do what matters to you. It is not because of your age. And if the occasion arose you might stay up all night and dance.
It’s about how we age. So replace those old ideas, change your language and how you talk to you. What beliefs do you hold about aging that are outdated? Think about those close to you, and how they aged? Is that the way you want to age?
I know those mattresses are pretty high tech, but your subconscious is powerful beyond measure.
Claire Bulman is a Marisa Peer Rapid Transformational Therapist. To find out more please click here.