Simple Ways to Overcome the Fear of Growing Old Alone
by Erika Slater
As the population of “X” and “Y” generations start to get older, more and more people today are single, perhaps more than ever before.
Divorce rates have never been higher than over the last ten to fifteen years, and more individuals are choosing to remain single after divorce, or not even getting married in the first place.
This has many thinking and fearing growing old alone.
This mindset is literally a major concern for people who worry they’ll be alone for the rest of their life, with no one to turn to when they’re much older and when they’ll need support and help the most.
If you’re still young enough and in the work force or have a career, this may cushion the blow for now. But what happens when you retire and get older?
Does the thought of this frighten you? Do you consider jumping into a relationship for all of the wrong reasons because you’re afraid to be alone?
IS BEING ALONE WHEN OLD THE NEW NORM?
No, marriage as a concept is not “on the rocks.” Providing a stable life is important for most of us and being married offers the best opportunity to fulfill that desire. Family life and values, especially when children are involved, remains a fundamental social need.
Society has always held marriage and/or relationships as the norm, in high esteem. From the time you were young, you were most likely taught getting married and/or staying in a marriage was the right thing to do.
As a matter of fact, prior to the last 10-15 years, if you weren’t married by the time you were in say your 30’s or 40’s, then there must be something wrong with you!
This was especially true of women for no other reason than stereo-typing.
Nowadays, being single and autonomous is more readily acceptable, and more people are remaining that way. So, even though it’s okay to be single or remain single well into your retirement years, the underlying fear of loneliness pervades the situation—OMG, I’m all alone!
Should choosing to be alone or single become a fear? Is it a rational fear, something worthy of your consideration and feelings?
First off, although being and/or staying married in relationships is still the norm for the majority of people, it’s more acceptable today to be single and stay that way. Furthermore, many individuals have had two or more divorces, which make staying single seem more rational and even cheaper (see lawyer bills)!
Back in the day, a couple of generations ago, the one you married, was the one you stayed with until ‘death do you part’. Obviously, vows were taken more seriously and literal, and the acceptance for divorces were less tolerated.
Times have changed!
But as we asked earlier there does seem to be a fear of growing old alone with today’s society and so we’ll take a look at what to do about this fear and overcoming it.
WAYS TO OVERCOME FEAR OF GROWING OLD ALONE:
With that said, it’s ‘OK’ to be single, alone and not in a marriage or relationship.
Something to keep in mind… there are people who are in marriages and relationships who feel lonely, and even alone after all.
Moreover, there are individuals who are single who never feel lonely, and even though they’re alone, it doesn’t bother them, rather they embrace it.
In the end, the quality of life you choose for yourself is what you make it, and this also comes about from the perception you have of it!
Is the fear of growing old alone rational?
After all, not wishing to be morbid but in reality, even long-time married couples end up alone when one of them dies – somebody has to go first, right?
So, how can we overcome these fears whether its because we lose our spouse or partner through illness or death, or because we’re getting old and single and worry we’ll have nobody there to share our old age with.
This “fear” harks back to the social and cultural answer of marriage being the only solution. Freeing yourself from this straight-jacket is first step of overcoming the “fear.”
To free yourself from this worry you have to feel relaxed in how you’ll “end up.” The “fear” is there because of the stress and anxiety you’re putting on yourself in trying to meet other’s expectations and social norms. This is your life not there’s. Tell them that by taking purposeful charge of your life.
Friends are every bit as critical to your support group as your partner or spouse or family. Increase your social connections – and I don’t mean Facebook or Twitter followers. We’re not talking about a network of hundreds of people here.
Frankly, even people with hundreds of “friends” will admit there’s only really two or three people they’d feel comfortable calling on to help them through a dire situation.
Make the most of rewarding activities to enjoy life now and connect with others. Deep friendships often start from meeting people who share your enthusiasm for a sport, activity or learning experience.
Make choices and always be looking towards your future with a lens to have a fulfilling life rather than to solve the fear of growing old.
If you need extra help in any of these suggestions, then hypnosis can help you relax and plant the seeds of experiencing a richer and more fulfilling life. Many local hypnotherapists specialize in stress and anxiety and you should reach out to a few to interview and connect with one who can help you over your fears. Here at Free At Last Hypnosis we leverage concepts discussed here as a resource during our stress and anxiety hypnosis management program which you can learn more about it here >>>
An alternative to one-on-one sessions is to consider a self-hypnosis session and you can check out this session to overcome fear of growing old here >>>
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES RELATED TO GROWING OLD:
Erika Slater CH
Free At Last Hypnosis
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