SENIORS: ACTIVE, INACTIVE, REACTIVE, PROACTIVE

Nov 15th, 2011 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Healthy Senior Living Choices

The choices of activity or lack of it fall under the headings in today’s title.  Two are positive and two are negative.  Two are desirable and two are undesirable.  Two require more initiative and allow for healthier results than the other two. Two stimulate more choices for involvement in productive ways than do the other two.  Let’s look at each of them in turn.

ACTIVE choices mean you are or have examined options which propel, impel, compel you to be up and doing, to involve yourself in as much activity and routine ways for keeping your mind alert, your body functioning, your spirit stimulated, your personality vibrant.  ACTIVE is a state of being, requiring movement,  dexterity, mental acuity, alert frame of mind, bodily sensitivity. No more just “lying around.”  That is the sin and temptation of the second of our choices.

Being INACTIVE will nullify all that you will have tried to do and dedicated yourself to doing. It will cancel out all your exercises, your struggles to keep yourself on your toes, your attempts to keep up your muscle strength, your disciplines at doing mind games that generate your brain cells. ACTIVE is challenging.  INACTIVE is surrendering.

Better Choices are Available to All Seniors

REACTIVE is allowing the impulses and intimidations of others to introduce anger and other negative forces that work on your state of mind, to insinuate themselves into your spirit, that arouse hostility and a reptilian behavior that attacks and would injure, if only by words, when given a chance. Such highly “mean” behaviors create disorders in thinking, inspire attitudes that are unpleasant to be around or experience.  Raised voices, trembling with anger, inappropriate body language all are evidences of such experiences.  Professionals often refer to this behavior as a “rage disorder.”  If your experience seems to have bordered on being out of control, it is likely time for professional counsel, perhaps medication, and certainly an evaluation of causal conditions and ways to address them.  Such a frame of mind can be highly destructive and alienating of others who are dear and special to you.

PROACTIVE behavior, on the other hand, is a much more highly acceptable and appreciated form of interaction with others.  Without being overbearing, being PROACTIVE  means giving yourself a chance to anticipate your presence in the company of another.  Anticipating your presence means putting your best foot forward, choosing language, body and literal, as you encounter the other.  Keeping your temperament at an even keel.  Watch your reaction rate and disciplining your tone of voice, choice of words, facial expressions so that none of these can be interpreted as REACTIVE.  Thoughtfulness, gentleness and kindness are characteristics of a PROACTIVE presence.

Examining your own feeling levels so that you are aware what invokes and provokes your responses can be helpful.  Simply allowing reactionary behavior to take over, just because you feel that way, is no reason or excuse to do so. These behaviors are choices. You are in control.  Your own barometer can indicate whether a storm is on the horizon or clear skies are due.  Giving in is giving up,  Allowing a hostile takeover of your moods will eventuate in losing self respect, friends,relationships and invitations to enjoy the presence of others.



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