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Tips for exercising you mental strength
Senior Moments
Rich DeLong is the executive director of Station Exchange Senior Care. - photo by File photo

Do people really get wiser as they age? Wisdom is hard to define but is considered by most to be a combination of knowledge, experience and good judgment.

Maybe wisdom is something we develop — or not. But staying mentally strong as we age certainly can’t hurt our chances of being able to impart words of wisdom to the next generation of thinkers.

Amy Morin, LCSW, wrote the book, "13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do." There appears to be much wisdom in her words as she imparts her good advice to those seeking to stay mentally fit.

Keeping a sharp mind and a keen sense of the world around us is a common concern among the aging population. Morin’s book offers some very good advice for people of all ages. In her own words, mentally strong people don’t do the following:

Feel sorry for themselves — Many of life’s problems and sorrows are inevitable, but feeling sorry for yourself is a choice. Whether you’re struggling to pay your bills or you’re dealing with unexplained health problems, indulging in self-pity won’t fix your problems.

Give away their power — It can be very tempting to blame other people for our problems and circumstances. Thinking things like, "My mother-in-law makes me feel bad about myself," gives others power over us. Take back your power by accepting full responsibility for how you think, feel and behave.

Waste energy on things they can’t control — So often we worry about all the wrong things. Rather than focus on preparing for the storm, we waste energy wishing the storm wouldn’t come. If we invested that same energy into the things we do have control over, we’d be much better prepared for whatever life throws our way.

Worry about pleasing others — Doing and saying things that may not be met with favor takes courage, but living a truly authentic life requires you to live according to your values, even when your choices aren’t popular.

Dwell on the past — While reflecting on the past and learning from it is a helpful part of building mental strength, ruminating can be harmful. Making peace with the past so you can live for the present and plan for the future can be hard, especially if you’ve endured a lot of misfortune, but it’s a necessary step in becoming your best self.

Make the same mistakes over and over — Mentally strong people don’t hide their mistakes or make excuses for them. Instead they turn their mistakes into opportunities for self-growth.

Resent other people’s success — This will only interfere with your ability to reach your goals. When you’re secure in our own definition of success, you’ll stop envying other people for obtaining their goals and you’ll be committed to reaching your dreams.

Feel the world owes them anything — It’s easy to get caught up in feeling a sense of entitlement. But waiting for the world, or the people in it, to give you what you think we’re owed isn’t a helpful life strategy.

Expect immediate results — We often grow so accustomed to our "no lines, no waiting" world, that our brains begin to believe that everything should happen instantaneously. But self-growth develops over time. Mentally strong people know that true change takes time and they’re willing to work hard to see results.

I love that last line … work hard to see results. That’s what our elders did for years and years. With strong hearts and minds they literally overcame the world. Now it’s our turn my friends. Will you join me?

Contact DeLong at 912-531-7867 or

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