Accepting death as a positive end makes you more willing to live
They say there are two certainties in life: death and taxes. And while there are ways to avoid and even cheat taxes, death is inescapable. It’s morbid to think that no matter what you do, there’s no way to avoid dying. But it’s the truth: death is the inevitable conclusion to all life.
So what if the thought of dying didn’t scare us but empowered us to enjoy the time we have while we have it?
And how do you get to that mental space?
Start by letting go of what you can’t control.
For many, the fear of death is the worry of the unknown: not knowing when you’ll die, how you’ll die, and perhaps most importantly, what happens after you die.
But consider the freedom that comes with accepting that you cannot control the unknown. You can’t control the weather, and yet you manage to get up every day without knowing what mother nature has in store. Accepting that you’re doing to die means you can stop worrying about what’s going to or might happen, and start enjoying what is happening. And what is happening is your life—all those small moments where you’re painfully aware of how alive you are, those moments when the proverbial struggle is real. What people tend to forget is that life isn’t just a collection of highlights, but a whole mess of lows, highs, challenges.
You can attempt to control or orchestra how you want things to unfold, or you can let go and embrace the unknown. Like John Lennon said: “Life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans.”
Don’t ignore your current state.
Of course, just because we’re eventually going to cease to exist doesn’t mean we can’t make arrangements while we’re still here. Planning for a long and healthy life and protecting yourself and your family is just common sense. Programs like Medicare (the federal health insurance program) give adults 65 years and older–as well as those with qualifying disabilities) the healthcare coverage they need. Having this type of coverage means there’s one less issue to worry about, leaving more time to do the things you enjoy.
What’s that old saying? What would you attempt if you knew you could not fail? Protecting your health while you have it and adding safeguards like insurance policies don’t guarantee nothing bad can happen. Rather, they give you peace of mind in the event of an issue. And when you aren’t spending time stressing about your health or the future of your family, you can focus on what matters.
Focus on what matters and see the possibilities.
Maybe you couldn’t wait to grow up, but once you did, you found things weren’t nearly as great as you’d hoped. That’s because all too often we compare ourselves to others, a bad habit for our mental health. And with the influence of social media and the proliferation of over-sharing, we tend to forget that the glimpses we get of other people’s lives are only the highlights, the good stuff. In comparison to a sizzle reel of birthdays, holidays, and vacations, anyone’s day-to-day life would feel inadequate.
So how do you stop feeling less-than and start loving this thing we call life? If you can reframe the way you think about and experience life you can literally change the way you view it. Negative thoughts limit our ability to see the positive in a situation. On the other hand, a positive mindset has lasting effects on how you navigate the world. When you operate from a place of positivity your brain can see all the different possibilities a situation presents.
Telling someone to reframe the way they think is of course much easier said than done, but there are ways you can practice. Start by bringing awareness to the way you approach situations. Try to view unexpected challenges as opportunities to improve instead of setbacks to overcome. And take time to check in with yourself daily, perhaps through journaling or meditation.
What to Take Away.
How do you make the most of your life and accept your mortality? Let go of the unknown and things you can’t control, protect the health and life you have, and focus on what makes your experience of life so unique. It’s hard for most of us, especially the young among us, to imagine dying. When we think of the end of life, many of us imagine our grandparents or elderly parents, and they’re slow migration to old age. It wasn’t something that happened all at once but slowly, over time, our loved ones grew into older versions of themselves. And if we’re lucky, we’ll get the same privilege.