To live is to doubt. From navigating our teenage years to trying to figure out our careers and how to be good parents, uncertainty happens often.
This is no different for older adults. Although age often comes with a more secure sense of self, we’re not immune to self-doubt.
The changes that come with growing older can cause worries like, did we live our best life, did we accomplish enough, are we still attractive, will we lose our independence, is our knowledge still relevant, when will we die, etc.
Fortunately, there are tools we can use to cope, so our thoughts don’t consume us.
Keep reading to learn about positive affirmations for older adults, and how they can help.
Simply put, positive affirmations are kind and helpful things we say to ourselves. They can be used to counteract negative self-talk and beliefs and boost our self-esteem. These affirmations can be motivating, reassuring, comforting, etc.
They’re usually repeated often, sometimes daily. We can say positive affirmations aloud or internally. We can also write them down.
Typically, positive affirmations will reflect our values and beliefs about qualities we find desirable.
Self-affirmation theory suggests that we strive to uphold a positive view of ourselves. We want to believe the story we tell ourselves about being good, capable people who can adapt to change.
When our sense of self is threatened, positive affirmations can reinforce our self-belief. They allow us to reflect on our self-worth and abilities.
This practice has been shown to increase activity in parts of the brain that regulate our sense of self, values, and rewarding feelings.
Also, frequently repeating affirmations can create good thoughts, and make it easier to have them in the future.
Positive Affirmations to Cope with Doubt
Useful for: making peace with the aging process and embracing where we are in life/how we got here.
Useful for: when we want to face new challenges but feel afraid. This can be anything from taking responsibility for how we hurt someone in the past, to using new technology, or learning about the best ways to care for ourselves as we age.
Useful for: when we’re feeling doubtful about our value or place in society/people’s lives.
Useful for: the days when we need a self-esteem boost and a bit of faking-it-until-we-make-it.
Useful for: when we’re ruminating about our regrets, whether they’re in the far past or more recent.
6. I only compare myself to myself.
Useful for: when we feel doubtful about our accomplishments and success in life.
Useful for: when we’re feeling skeptical of our abilities. Perhaps we’ve lost some mobility or are feeling lost after retirement. We’re all capable of amazing things, from working through difficult situations to excelling at our hobbies.
Useful for: remembering that even if we don’t feel great or succeed today, we can keep trying as long as there’s tomorrow.
Getting older can feel scary and uncertain. We may experience doubts, regret, and frustration that are hard to deal with. While positive affirmations aren’t a cure-all, they can help us cope with negative self-talk, and boost our self-esteem.
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