The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia


September 29, 2012

Attitude affects quality of life as we age

Inside Out

Editor’s note: This column by the late Bev Davis originally was published Oct. 28, 2006. Davis passed away Aug. 1, 2010, of a sudden illness.


It seems to me that fighting the aging process is more a battle of wits than anything else.

Plastic surgery, anti-aging creams and liposuction are among the temporary fixes, but that’s the problem. They’re temporary. They work for a while.

What I need as I plunge toward my own senior citizen status is something that will outlast the arthritis, brittle bones, joint replacements and myriad other health concerns I can expect over the next few years.

I discussed this idea with a friend some time back, and this week, she sent me an e-mail with the following advice on “How to Stay Young.”

— Throw out nonessential numbers. These include age, weight and height. Let the doctors worry about those. Essential numbers are the ones you can still read on an eye chart, how many grandkids you have and how many hugs you can rack up from family members and friends every day.

— Spend more time with your cheerful friends. Attitudes are contagious. Friends who constantly whine, nag, complain and never seem to have a good day can wear you down quickly. Don’t discard them. Keep working to help them gain a more positive outlook, but cultivate relationships with people who always manage to see the glass half full.

— Keep learning. If possible, take some classes. Many are offered free or at lower costs to seniors. Courses in computer literacy, crafts classes and hobbies all provide opportunities to feed your brain. A busy mind has less time to focus on the negatives in life.

— Volunteer some time for a good cause each week. Work in a soup kitchen. Provide transportation for someone who can’t drive to the grocery store, a hair appointment or just get out of their home for a few hours.

— Live while you are alive. That means experiencing the full gamut of emotions — grief, gain, loss, love, discord, peace, happiness, love. Take each in stride. Each has a special lesson for you, and how you react to each one will develop new facets of your character.

— Surround yourself with what you love. Get rid of things that burden you and keep only those things that give you pleasure. Whether it’s your family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies or photos, make sure these reminders of good times and happy thoughts are always near you. They will be a refuge on dark days.

— Tell people you love them. Whether they respond in kind is not important. Sharing your love with others will increase your capacity to love. Focus yourself outward, giving as much of yourself, your time and your talents as you can.

All of these things help feed a positive mindset. A strong, healthy mental attitude will carry you through just about any kind of adversity — even old age.


Text Only
  • bob thompson The jazz man

    If Bob Thompson’s 30-year career as a professional musician has taught him anything, it’s that there are really only two kinds of music.


    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Leave a good legacy, and respect others’

    The death this week of the Rev. Jerry Falwell led to a network and cable blitz of commentaries on his life. We’ve been bombarded with a flurry of eulogies, criticisms, apathetic shrugs and lots of news footage regarding Falwell’s faith and foibles.


    July 26, 2014

  • 072314 Life CrossFit 4.jpg Crossfit Nation: Working out the WOD way

    Just as fashion trends come and go, so do fitness fads, and Cyndie Chinn had tried them all.

    July 23, 2014 3 Photos

  • downsize 1 Living large in smaller spaces

    How is it possible that as your nest gets emptier, your garage gets fuller? Living off the grid sounds tantalizing — the extreme version of paring down. But are you ready for solar panels and growing your own groceries or would a smaller home do the trick?

    July 20, 2014 3 Photos

  • Relishing the faith of little children

    July 19, 2014

  • Guns 1 ‘Guns’ for Life

    With the latest World Health Organization figures showing global life expectancy increasing from 64 years in 1990 to 70 years in 2011, staying healthy enough to add quality to the quantity of life is an important consideration.

    July 16, 2014 3 Photos

  • coconut 4 Crack open the power of the coconut

    Now let’s get this straight …
      We know about Parrotheads. And Cheeseheads. But when did Coconut Heads become cool?
    Move over, argan — you are so last season. Another exotic oil is taking lead role in everything from shampoo to weight-loss supplements. That cast-iron skillet seasoning, stretch-mark banishing essence of the hour is — coconut oil.

    July 13, 2014 2 Photos

  • Free summer serenade concert to be held

    Aurora Celtic, sponsored by Ivy & Stone, presents the free Summer Serenade concert Saturday at 6 p.m. on the Brown House lawn in Summersville.

    July 13, 2014

  • WVU Extension: Healthy summer eating tips for all occasions

    Summer and early fall are the times of year for family reunions, potluck picnics, pool parties and various other celebrations where we like to share food.

    July 13, 2014

  • new BAF fund Endowment still helping students attend college

    The “Beckley College, College of West Virginia, Mountain State University and University of Charleston-Beckley Alumni Association Fund” has the distinction of having the longest name of any of the 400 permanent endowments managed by the Beckley Area Foundation.

    July 13, 2014 1 Photo