As a certified health coach, I see a lot of collateral damage in my client’s bodies, from daily fatigue, weight imbalances, and stomach issues to anxiety and depression.
In my experience, undoing that collateral damage is possible in a relatively short amount of time. By tackling the pillars of health — optimal nutrition, sleep, movement, and reducing stressors — you’ll be on the path to feeling better and living longer.
The next level is cultivating a positive aging mindset that helps you create a triumphant third act. You’ll be able to reap the benefits of collateral damage’s opposite — collateral beauty.
What is Collateral Beauty in Aging?
The Will Smith movie Collateral Beauty conveyed that beauty and love still exist even when things feel bleak. That perspective beautifully expresses how a positive outlook can help fuel longevity.
As part of my project on embracing aging, I routinely interview people in their 70s and older about what keeps them vital and purposeful. There’s one common denominator: they look for the silver lining.
Finding the good in difficult situations doesn’t come easily. The people I’ve surveyed have endured substantial hardships, whether it was a loss of a child, growing up in wartime, or withstanding an abusive relationship. And they didn’t suppress their pain either — they found ways to move through it and keep going.
According to the Journal of American Medical Association, seniors who viewed aging positively were 44% more likely to recover from a disability than those who saw the injury synonymous with being old and helpless.
In my work, I’ve found that energetic, upbeat older people don’t wallow in their incapacity — they choose to focus on what they can still do. This is collateral beauty.
Alchemy of Collateral Damage to Beauty in Aging
The “collateral damage” of aging is often deemed as sickness, decline, hopelessness, and isolation. By taking preventative measures now, you can pave the way to a happier, healthier future, transforming it into collateral beauty. This includes:
- Be your own best friend. Skip compare and despair and celebrate your growth over time.
- Respond to situations with ease. Whether through meditation, coaching, therapy, or other avenues, prioritize your emotional stability and resilience.
- Achieve self-alignment. Find ways to align your actual (inner) self and ideal self to remove internal conflict. For example, I teach a self-love meditation that integrates hypnotherapy techniques to help ingrain it in the subconscious mind.
- Nurture meaningful relationships. Eight decades of research from Harvard shows good, close relationships support longevity.
Collateral beauty can be a byproduct of aging, but it’s not random. The choice is yours to do what it takes to create and embrace the beauty of each experience at every age.