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10 Golden Rules For Beating What Ails You Without Pills

I have a broken back that can't be fixed. That means a lot of pain, plus drugs that would knock me out if I let them.

Pain of some sort is the downside for some of us in the "golden years".

In hopes they may be useful to others, here are 10 rules I try to live by to stay cheerful. Perhaps they will help you formulate your own set of successful living rules.

  • Put up an iron wall against feeling depressed. I'm told that's tough for many people, but it's essential for me. I dare not allow myself to feel down. Determine to be tough, if you can. At the first sign of the blues, fight. Do something. Do something productive. Remind yourself there are others far worse off than you. If you need help with that, just watch the news or the save-the-children ads. A dose of that sort of reality and you're too ashamed to feel sorry for yourself.
  • Start each day with a happy, fast-rhythm song. Make up your own, if you like. Sing as loud and convincingly as you can. Or sing silently, in your head. It's self-hypnosis. The song should drum into you what a great day it is -- a day you can choose to fill with smiles or with tears.
  • If you make yourself smile, even if it's only a humorless stretching of facial muscles, it's impossible after a while not to be upbeat. The problems are then so much easier to conquer.
  • Think productively. Don't allow destructive or angry thoughts. Don't allow medications to dominate you. Despite the consequences, I put off taking my pain medication for as long as I can each day. That allows me to be productive. Before, I was forever finding my eyes shut and my nose on the keyboard or against the pages of a book.
  • Think more about other people, and less about yourself. When we're suffering hardships, it's all too easy to overlook the effect we're having on those around us. When someone asks how we feel, it's tempting to tell them the truth. All most can handle is: "just fine, thanks."
  • Understand that what ails you can make you short-tempered. That's perfectly natural; so don't scold yourself for it. But be aware of it so you can try to avoid inflicting your mood on others whose only crime is that they wish us well. I find that if you allow yourself to get short-tempered with others it only makes you angry with yourself.
  • Do all you can to help yourself. Don't rely on others when you don't have to. They have their own responsibilities. Besides, you are better equipped to deal with you than anyone else (unless there's a need for surgery and then you kinda need the guy with the knife!). Even then, you can make sure you get the best care from the best people.
  • Joke about being old, if you wish. But don't admit, even to yourself, you feel old. Keep the mind young by keeping it active. Associate with people younger than yourself. (I'm married to a lady 13 years younger than myself. This is not recommended therapy for those already married to someone closer to his or her own age!)
  • Make the rest of your life useful to others. I have adopted a child in Guatemala. And later this year I will start a free up-beat online newsletter for those ages 50 and up. Being upbeat is a deliberate choice that can become a habit. But it takes work, and I believe a sense of community can help us all over some of the rough spots.
  • Learn something new. I was already used to writing with computers. During the past several months I have learned how to design a web page, write interesting content, and market it successfully. And if you don't think that's a challenge...! Doing something new and succeeding at it is uplifting. Besides which, it keeps your mind off your other problems.
  • Don't do anything you don't have to do unless it's fun. What's the point? That doesn't mean avoiding things that are difficult. If you enjoy doing something you will do it well, it will not be a chore, it will be satisfying. And, again, it will take your mind off your other troubles
  • Lastly and maybe most important is Nike's old slogan. I adopted it for my own: JUST DO IT!

Sydney has been wheelchair bound for a while. Now, thanks to a medication that interferes with specific pain receptors in his brain, he has done away with the heavy narcotics. He hardly has felt the sciatic and femoral nerve pains that were excruciating from his lower back to his toes. And thanks to getting a second opinion from the man reputed to be the best back surgeon in Canada he should be able to put the wheelchair into permanent storage (or something worse) in the very near future.

This is just one of dozens of helpful ideas presented in The Estate Manual and its electronic counterpart, THEMES™ .The manual organizes the human side of estate planning. This area is often overlooked, but it makes a huge (and obvious) difference to survivors. It is an easy-to-use system for making sure nothing is left out of your planning. Learn more at:
Estate Manual. Com
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