LONG BEACH, Calif. - For most women, 40 and beyond brings lots of changes. Maybe the kids are gone, maybe you want to change careers, or maybe you just want to live for you. Psychotherapist Dr. Tina Tessina says there are 10 smart decisions a woman can make after the age of 40.
"That's, for most women, a really changeable time of life," said Tessina.
First, make your life your own and change your life roles.
"It's a good time to reevaluate, but it's also a time when women feel empowered to start living for themselves instead of everybody else," Tessina explained.
Decision number three is to revitalize your career or start a new one. People aged 55 to 64 start about 23 percent of all new businesses in the U.S.
"I've done a lot of reinventing,"' Tessina said. "I do it every chance I get."
Decision four: focus on friendships. Women with extensive social networks have lower blood pressure, less diabetes, less heart disease, and half as many strokes.
Also, get healthy! Regular exercise may lower the risk of breast cancer by 37 percent, osteoporosis by 45 percent and heart disease by 14 percent.
Decision six: secure your financial position. Nine out of 10 women will be solely responsible for their finances at some point in their lives.
Next, decide to be who you might have been.
"I think everything you've learned up until now is useful and you might want to tweak it a little," Tessina explained.
Decision eight: have fun! People who have regular fun are 20-times more likely to feel happy.
Number nine: create joy and meaning in your life. One study found people who reported a sense of direction and meaning had stronger immune systems than those who were just "happy."
The last decision: give back.
"At 40 or after, you've got a lot of wisdom and a whole lot of experience," Dr. Tessina said. "It's time for you to mentor somebody, to give something back."
Women over 40 should also remember to get regular health checks. Among other tests, they should get an eye exam every two to four years, a pap smear every one to three years, a mole check every year, and a mammogram every one to two years.
Some women dread turning 40, and some insist that it just doesn't matter to them, they're totally over it. Age is a state of mind. If we are always chasing youth, we are stuck in the past. Being stuck in the past can bring patterns that can lead to feelings of hopelessness grief or depression. Instead of thinking of turning 40 in a negative aspect, one should look in the positive direction. Think that you are stronger and wiser, you appreciate the good things in life, your experience contributes so much to the world, and now you understand how precious life is and to live in the moment. To stay healthier, sharper, more energetic and more fulfilled in your 40's, every woman should do these things:
- Eat a healthy breakfast every day. Nutritionists agree that eating breakfast is essential to keeping weight down and metabolism up.
- Jump-start your metabolism with strength-training. It can help you maintain your balance and protect your skeleton.
- Boost your calcium and vitamin D which are both beneficial for strong bones.
- Practice stress control. An unhealthy heart will increase blood pressure, lower libido, and cause faster cell death.
- Pump up protein intake. Eat at least 4 ounces of protein at each meal. It boosts levels of mood-lifting neurotransmitters which aids in relieving symptoms of depression, slow thinking or poor memory.
- Be adventurous with your partner. Try something new and not just in the bedroom.
- Go out with your girlfriends, it reduces stress, boosts self-esteem and makes you more loving toward your partner when you get home.
- Get essential check-ups. As a part of healthy lifestyle, you should keep track of your eye exam, blood pressure, blood glucose, pap and pelvic exam, thyroid, mole check and mammogram.
Age is just a mindset, having the right attitude. You can either look at the downside of life or switch up the way you look at things and think how much life is a gift that we are meant to enjoy and live to its fullest.
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