There’s one thing to understand about aging: It brings its own set of emotional, yet manageable shifts. As we age, we become both more accepting and less tolerant. And we often don’t realize the shift because we haven’t recognized the subtle changes in our levels of acceptance and emotional boundaries.
Not all of us experience the same emotions, but extreme or simple, we all have them. Some of us allow our emotions to dictate our responses, decision-making, reactions, and engagements—while others seem unaffected by what sends many of us over edge—which is why it’s so important to understand, manage, and control them and keep them in check.
We don’t think about our nuanced emotions like: Fear, Disappointment, Desire, Disgust, Surprise, Joy, Satisfaction, even Confusion because we’re more familiar with Anger, Grief, Love, Happiness or Sadness.
Which emotions overwhelm you and your life? You’ve probably never thought about it—but you’ve felt it, right? It’s typically when after an emotional occurrence, whether joy or anger, you’ve said to yourself: “Wow, I really overreacted to that. I need to manage that!”
Managing your emotions begins with awareness and acknowledgement of the emotion you are experiencing. One thing about emotions most of them are worn on the outside and are therefore put on display—and often to your surprise and even embarrassment.
In general, aging presents less negative feelings (emotions) and more positive feelings of emotional stability. This happens because we become better at navigating emotional triggers, especially those found in personal disagreements. It’s important to recognize your emotional triggers.
Self-awareness is key in discovering and managing both your positive and negative emotions! It helps to identify them, so review your day and make a list of experienced emotions. Remember emotions are hidden in your reactions, responses, and methods of engagement.
You know when your emotions become too much to self-manage. If you find your emotions (feelings) are consuming you, and you’re unable to manage or move past feelings of resentment or sadness, please seek professional help.
Pat Landaker is a Certified Senior Advisor (CSA) and owner of Living La Vida Senior, Ageless Aging, and Senior Solutions. She serves on the ASA’s Innovation and Social Impact Council, the CSA’s Certification Council, the City of Henderson’s Senior Citizens Advisory Commission. She teaches Positive Aging at UNLV/OLLI and throughout the Valley. Email her at email@example.com or visit www.patlandakeragency.com.