Archive for the ‘Attitude’ Category

How to Improve our Emotional Health

April 6th, 2020 Comments off

What can we do to maintain and improve our emotional health during these uncertain times?

Something I learned as a young student with little confidence is that I can change my thoughts by changing my language.

Of prime importance is how you communicate with yourself. What do you tell yourself in your thoughts and when speaking out loud? A powerful exercise that you can begin practicing right now is transformative language. Test it during this COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Become aware of the messages you are feeding to yourself. What do you say to yourself? Are your words positive? Become aware of what you tell yourself. In other words when something happens become conscious of your words. Listen to your thoughts. For instance, do you tell yourself, “I don’t feel well” or “Chances are I will catch the virus”? What you are telling your subconscious is that you are sick and you will have the virus; and your subconscious will believe it. So, what happens? Little by little your brain begins to believe that you will get sick so there’s no reason for it to help you feel well.
  • As soon as you catch yourself with a negative thought, change it to a positive. Using the example above, tell yourself, “I feel good. I am healthy, happy and well”. If you are able, say this out loud with a smile. Did I hear you say, “But that’s a lie. I don’t feel healthy, happy and well”. It’s okay. You do not have to believe it. Your subconscious believes what you tell it, whether or not you believe it. What is important is too reword anything that you are saying that is not positive so that it becomes positive as in the example above. Even saying something such as “Oh I wish I could do that”, is not positive; because what you are saying is, “I cannot do that”. In this case you might simply tell yourself, “I can do anything I wish”. Test this.
  • Use this exercise consciously over the next weeks and see what happens. Using positive language; having a positive attitude is a key to your emotional health. I encourage you to use this exercise even if you are a positive person, because you may find your thoughts and language have changed during this pandemic.

I would love to hear your experiences with this exercise and the influence it has on your emotional health and your age esteem.

Bonnie Fatio

Emotional Health for AgeEsteem

April 4th, 2020 Comments off

Emotional health is how we feel about ourselves. It’s our self-esteem and our age-esteem. It includes being able to understand our own emotions, as well as our compassion for others.

We cannot talk about health without talking about our emotional health. In fact, an important ingredient of our emotional health is our age esteem. It is how we feel about ourselves at the age we are today every day. It is how we feel about ourselves when all is going well and in times like the present when much is uncertain. It is no longer life as usual.

Winnie the Pooh is a star at emotional health. Every word seems to come out positively. – Even when he says, “People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day.” He also keeps good company with friends like Piglet who says, “I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today”? Generations of readers can be grateful to A.A Milne, the author of Winnie the Pooh.

Winnie the Pooh brings all aspects of emotional health into his adventures which are filled with positive thoughts, humor, multiple friendships, rest, honey, curiosity, learning new things, etc. – And he makes it both entertaining and seemingly simple.

Maybe among the adult books that we read during this COVID-19 epidemic, we should also add a few children’s classics. And while we are doing so, why not read them out loud and record them for children we know?

My favorite AgeEsteem message from Winnie the Pooh during this time of isolation is, “If there ever comes a day when we can’t be together, keep me in your heart. I’ll stay there forever.”

Bonnie Fatio

AgeEsteem = Fill Your Inner Circle With Positive People

April 29th, 2019 Comments off
Fill Your Circle with Positive People

It is important to have “down time”, moments or periods of time when we do nothing except enjoy the moment. I was having one such moment with two of my friends recently. We had each taken off the afternoon to simply “be” together.

Although it was the first time that these particular friends met, they immediately connected with each other. It didn’t surprise me, because we have positive outlooks that help us anticipate the joy of meeting someone new and to find the interest in them.

Mixing with positive people is an important key to aging with age-esteem. People we associate with influence how we feel about ourselves and about life in general.

Do you have people in your life who are positive in their outlook?

  • Make a personal audit of the people you see regularly. What do you admire about them? Do you learn from them? Are they people who share your values and whom you respect? Do they bring out the best in you?
  • Eliminate anyone from your inner circle who does not fit these criteria. Move away from anyone who stresses faults rather than qualities.
  • If you must be with negative people at work, be polite but don’t let them into your inner circle.
  • Seek out and spend your time with people who have positive, « can do » attitudes.

Positive people will help you become the greatest you that you can become today, at the age you are.

Bonnie Fatio

Have a Day of Wonderful!

September 15th, 2018 Comments off

A Day of Wonderful!

Have you passed by the wonders of life? There is a television ad here in Europe for a soft drink which is offered to a man in a retirement home. When he drinks it he says, “I wonder what else I have passed by in life?” He then proceeds to look at his day as an experience to be lived and tests new opportunities.

This scenario reminds me of the film Steel Magnolias by Robert Harling when Julia Roberts says, “I would rather have thirty minutes of wonderful than a lifetime of nothing special.”

In both the ad and the movie, what makes the difference between a day waiting for more of the same and minutes of wonderful is the person. How does he or she choose to live the minutes?

Is your day a piece of wonderful, or part of a lifetime of nothing special? Test these simple techniques to enhance your age-esteem.

  • Tell yourself you will have a day of wonderful.
  • Ask yourself, “What would make this a day of wonderful? Then incorporate that into your day. Test something new. Visit a new place; experiment with different foods; join a local tour; listen to modern music; invite someone to come for tea.
  • Keep a Day of Wonderful Journal. At the end of each day record what made the day one of wonderful.

You may be surprised at the effect this has on you, and even those around you.

Have a day of wonderful!

Bonnie Fatio


I Will Never Be A Grandparent

September 12th, 2018 Comments off

No Grandchildren

Although planned parenthood may exist, planned grandparenthood does not. We have no control over whether or not we will become a grandparent. Though some of us may have made that decision by not having children of our own, or were unable to have children of our own, many who do have children have no grandchildren. It is not our decision to make.

For some this is fine. They are happy in life without grandchildren. For many, though, it is something they miss. Grandchildren seem to be the natural assurance of life continued to future generations. It may be the end of our DNA being passed on, however our legacy continues in multiple ways.

When a financial expert asked me what I wanted to leave to my three grandchildren, my spontaneous response had nothing to do with DNA or with finances. It had to do with values, experiences shared, and memories created. Yes, these related to my grandchildren; they could also relate to other children with whom I have repeated contact.

If you suffer because you do not have grandchildren, make space for other children in your life. Many children do not have grandparents or other older people in their lives. You can help fill that need.

  • Are there families in your neighborhood or among your colleagues who would welcome your presence in their lives? Many parents, especially single parents, work long days and have little energy left when they return home.
    • Ask parents if you could invite their little ones for cookies and milk after school.
    • Would they welcome help with homework, babysitting, making dinner?
  • Volunteer your services to the Scout troop, local school, library, church or sports center to help with projects, story hour, or after-school programs.
  • Go to the playground often and chat with the mothers and fathers. Get to know them and let them know you. Slowly find out what their needs are and how you might assist them with the children.
  • If you are blessed to have nieces and nephews, build relationships with them. Plan events with them such as going to the circus or museum or a picnic in the park. Send them notes and speak often.
  • Join a community mentoring program for the underprivileged.

Children need older people in their lives. We bring a perspective and dimension that is otherwise missing. If you want to have grandchildren in your life and don’t, then reach out to other children. It will also enhance your age-esteem.

Bonnie Fatio


Bloom Where You Are

April 23rd, 2018 Comments off

Bloom Where You Are

During Winter it can be terribly gray where I live. Weeks go by with no sunshine. – Gray clouds, gray fog, gray rain. Gray buildings, gray roads, gray expressions on people’s faces.

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” – Anaïs Nin

And then, suddenly Spring arrives, trees bud, flowers bloom, grass becomes luscious green, birds chirp and sing, and the world comes to life! People begin to smile again and even walk with more energy in their steps.

It brings to mind the saying, “Bloom where you are planted”. While the ground lay fallow during the grey winter months, much was happening underground and trees as each little bud began to bloom where it had been planted. It did not decide what bloom it would become or where it would grow. It bloomed where it was planted.

I believe age-esteem is important if you are to bloom where you are planted. You may not have chosen to work in the company that offered you the job, or to live in the house or city that you do, or to admit to be the age that you are. Yet, how much easier is it to decide to love what we do, to make our home into our haven no matter where it is, and to recognize the joys and advantages of being the age that we are? The quote from Anaïs Nin expresses it well. It is more painful to be a victim and detest something than it is to risk making the most of a situation and actually blossoming where you are, doing what you do, and being the age you are.

Are you willing to make the effort to bloom where you are planted? Are you willing to take control of your life and to love yourself at the age you are? If you are, you will also blossom with AgeEsteem.

            Bonnie Fatio

Spring Showers Can Boost Your Age Esteem

April 19th, 2018 Comments off

Spring Showers Can Boost Your Age Esteem

It’s raining !

Spring brings rain where I live in Europe. Lots of rain.

Sitting here on the bus I hear others complaining that “enough is enough”. It has rained for five consecutive days.

I love walking in the rain. As a child I used to beg my mother to let me go outside and stomp through the puddles. Sister Susie and I would take a couple pans from the kitchen, so we could concoct a witches’ brew with wet leaves, flower petals and some wiggly worms. We hated it when Mom called us inside.

Even today I love walking in the rain. Stomping in puddles with my grandchildren is still a favorite experience. Rain is refreshing and renewing. It seems to wash away worries, leaving room for new ideas and expression.

These feelings of renewal and playfulness are important to our age-esteem. They help us live the age we are with joy and pizzazz. In AgeEsteem: Growing a Positive Attitude Toward Aging, chapter 2, page 16, tells the story of breaking loose from our programed behavior and to begin Singing in the Rain to free the child within you.

When we let the child within us come out to play, we use all of our senses. It frees us to raise our faces to the sky to feel the raindrops, and even taste them. We smell the newness of nature, listen to the sound of the rain on different surfaces, watch drops seemingly bounce on the sidewalk, and laugh with pure joy as we also renew and revitalize our age-esteem.

Bonnie Fatio

A New Day

June 2nd, 2017 Comments off

A New Day

Today is a new day – a new gift from heaven. What will it bring? How will it unfold? Only time will tell.

You control what your day will be. It will be filled with decisions that you, and you alone, will make to direct its course.

Most important is how you choose to get up and greet the day. Will you do it by staying in bed that extra bit to review your aches and pains? (Yes, you may have many!) Will you create your intentions for the day before stretching and sliding out of bed? Will you spontaneously bound (at your own speed of light) out of bed with excitement for the new day?

This first choice will set the course of your waking hours.

My favorite days are the ones when I give myself extra time. I get up and make a cup of green tea to take back to bed with me. While the tea cools enough to drink, I plop myself in a seated position among the pillows and let my self coast between wakefulness and sleep, setting my mind free.

It is often a time when I write, putting my thoughts on paper. Other times I play my day forward, knowing that it will be wonderful. It is also an opportune time to give thanks for the blessings that I have. Each of these sets my day off to a better start.

As I drink my tea I am peaceful, relaxed, and ready to live my day fully.

Some days I even have a second cup of tea!

How do you begin your day?

Bonnie Fatio

Positive Decisions

June 4th, 2016 Comments off

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Positive Decisions

This morning I had my visit to my cardiologist for a sonar gram and stress test. I always enjoy visits with him. However, we are on the opposite sides of Lake Geneva during the summer and it is an hour and a half dive through heat and traffic. So I decided to turn my trip into an excursion.

Was it shorter? Not by much. It was, however, fun! My husband dropped me off at the pier where the lake steamers dock. I crossed in the crisp morning air with commuters on their way to work on the opposite shore. Then I hiked up the hill to the train station where the cog rail train would whisk me up the Jura Mountainside to the clinic. I felt wonderfully relaxed and refreshed when I arrived.

After seeing my doctor I made another decision. There is only one train each hour. I could race to catch the one that would pass within the next few minutes or I could wait for the next one. I chose to enjoy the moment and wait for the next train.

I decided to stay in the now and enjoy the moment. So here I am sitting on the terrace of the clinic completely tuned into the world around me. The view peaking out of the warm haze is spectacular. The mountains are barely visible. The world is quiet up here except for the harmonious cowbells ringing on the grazing cows. (Yes, there really are cows in Swiss pastures, and they do wear bells.)

These have been good decisions. Instead of driving home through the heat and traffic I will again board the train and boat and arrive home refreshed.

A key to age esteem is to make decisions, knowing you are in control. Sometimes, as with mine today, these decisions can slow down your day and allow you to be truly present in the joy of the moment.

Bonnie Fatio

I Am What I Am

May 31st, 2016 Comments off


I Am What I Am

“During much of life I was anxious to be what someone else wanted me to be. Now I have given up that struggle. I am what I am.”Elizabeth Coatsworth