Thursday, May 18, 2017

6 Way to Stay Youthful-by Heidi McLaughlin

My grandson Ryan and I have been in a fierce crib competition for the past fourteen years. This past weekend he came to visit his Nana, and the crib board came out of its dark hidden place ready to trounce this handsome young lad. In the midst of shuffling the cards his brows furrowed and he questioned me. “Nana, when I was young how come you never let me win?” I smiled and explained: “One of the most hurtful feelings in life are disappointments.  The sooner we learn to overcome unmet expectations in a healthy environment, the quicker we grasp the concept that disappointments are part of life. We have to embrace them and move on.”  I continued: “Furthermore, you don’t want to become jaded and end up a critical and grumpy old man.” Ryan nodded and smiled; he got it.

Spending a weekend with my grandson invigorated and reminded me how important it is to have an open mind in order to stay youthful. Here are 6 ways to stay youthful.
1.         Hang around with young people. Things are not “the way they used to be.” We have to open our minds to different ways of thinking and stay current with the lifestyle and needs of our young people and millennials. Thinking young keeps us young.
2.         Cultivate a thankful spirit.  Instead of feeding on disappointments and being grumpy that life didn't turn out the way we thought it would, be thankful for the many good things in your life. Ask yourself: “Whom would I rather hang around with, a scowling and critical person or someone who
expresses appreciation and gratitude for the every day things in life?” Being thankful keeps the smile on our face and makes us enjoyable to be around.
3.         Forgive quickly. Over time, unforgiveness harbours anger and causes us to lash out in ways that can make our faces turn ugly and bitter. It controls our emotions and stops us from being vulnerable and joyful.
4.         Remove stress.  We live in a stressful and demanding generation. But we have to realize that stress is a dangerous enemy that releases cortisol in our bodies and make us sick.  It can cause us to lose sleep, stomach ulcers, panic attacks, heart diseases and many other physical and emotional illnesses. 
5.         Get off the couch. Energy begets energy and if we want to stay healthy and keep our muscles strong, we have to move our bodies.  Exercise not only keeps our bodies vibrant and flexible, it rejuvenates our brain and keeps us alert and focused.
6.         Read good books. Older people’s conversations are too focused on illnesses, medication, and their aches and pains.  Yes, this is part of life, but wouldn’t you rather hang around with people whose conversations are filled with meaningful stories, current affairs and tending topics?

We don’t need to be reminded that we all need to do is drink lots of water, eat healthy and get plenty of sleep.  I am so grateful for this wonderful life God has given me and I choose to live it with gusto and joy.  We are all getting older but I agree with the Bible that says: “Therefore do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day,” (2 Corinthians 4:16 NIV).

Heidi McLaughlin lives in the beautiful vineyards of the Okanagan Valley in Kelowna, British Columbia. Heidi has been widowed twice. She is a mom and step mom of a wonderful, eclectic blended family of 5 children and 12 grandchildren. When Heidi is not working, she loves to curl up with a great book, or golf and laugh with her family and special friends.
Her latest book RESTLESS FOR MORE: Fulfillment in Unexpected Places (Including a FREE downloadable Study Guide) is now available at;, or her website:


Peter Black said...

Hiedi, thank you for sharing out of your wisdom and life-journey another page of practical, helpful hints for effective, wholesome living as grateful recipients of the grace of life that Father God has given us.
Ryan will be all the better equipped for life through Nana's seeming hard-nosed wisdom. ;) ~~+~~

Carol Ford said...

Amen,Heidi. Good advice

Glynis said...

Sweet joy and laughter! I love this post, Heidi. You made me lift my leg weights under my desk! You are SO right and Ryan is so blessed to have you as a mentor, even though he may not know you are his mentor. Totally loving your advice to 'hang around with young people'. Not because of any denial or shame about aging, but to stay connected. And oh, the power of a healthy influence. Wise words! Well said.

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