Facts, aging is a gift. Why is it that all we seem to hear about aging is negative for the most part. Aren’t you tired of hearing about the stereotypical aches, pains, and memory lapses that are associated with growing older?
Believe it or not, there are plenty of positives when it comes to becoming more seasoned. Here are a number of things that will make you feel grateful about getting older.
Catching fewer garden variety ills. Your immune system has had to fend off so many germs over the years, it tends to provide better protection against pesty ills like the common cold. Allergies are less of an issue for you because your body produces less of the antibodies that can cause them. And—believe it or not, migraines tend to disappear with advancing age. For example, at age 70, only 10% of women and 5% of men experience them.
Finding peace. Aging brings a sense of peace according to a new study from the Population Research Center at The University of Texas at Austin. Starting at about age 60, participants reported more feelings of peacefulness, ease and contentment than their younger counterparts. Other studies have shown that mature folks have a higher tolerance level for nonsense and can let things slide that their younger counterparts tend to over dramatize.
Gaining a Zen-like mindset. Growing older means experience what psychologists call the age-related positivity effect—an increasing focus on positive events and happy feelings. In a study this year involving more than 10,000 Danes aged 45 and older, researchers at the University of Southern Denmark found that although seniors were considerably less healthy than younger adults, they were at least as happy. Iowa State University gerontologist Peter Martin, who has interviewed hundreds of people aged 100-plus, says: “Almost everybody I meet leaves me with a feeling that old age can be indeed a happy time.” Many people spend their lives chasing happiness or a sense of contentment. It turns out that time itself could be the secret formula.
Cherishing people connections. According to the American Society of Aging noted that seasoned adults with cherished social networks have a good episodic memory, better cognitive functions and a lower allostatic load, which is the wear and tear on the body and brain from being stressed. Maintaining a solid relationship with marital partners, adult children, relatives, and friends contribute to these positive health effects.
Participating in civics and volunteering. Growing old provides a sense of broader perspective, and it often makes seniors inclined to focus much of their efforts and energy towards bettering society and creating a better world for future generations. Retired seniors have more time to volunteer and become civically involved. Many folks have found that involving themselves in volunteer or community work is a great way of utilizing and passing on the skills they’ve honed in their career—without the commitment or stress of regular employment.
Knowing your mind. Maturity means knowing what you want, like and need to be happy and being less willing to compromise on any of it. Self-esteem soars as you age according to studies and gaining the kind of confidence that comes from life experiences, knowing what matters, what doesn’t, and not sweating the small stuff.
Exercising freedom of speech. Seniors have learned that self-censorship causes pain. Speaking your mind means being intellectually courageous, independent and is definite proof of a well-lived life. We’ve learned that holding back truth when it’s necessary to speak is not going to be healthy for personal growth and transformation. Sharing our truth takes a leap of faith. Many of us have learned to live by the following mantra…Speak the truth and keep the peace with yourself and others.
Living out dreams deferred. As we age, the long list of things we must or should do starts getting shorter. We have more time to spend on previously neglected interests, pursuits, dreams. Living a dream means gaining the most you can from your life and making every day worth living.
Kicking nonsense to the curb. We are liberated from the prison of superficiality. We seek quality over quantity, comfort over style, and long-term value over the right now. Being seasoned folks means understanding that eliminating the nonsensical things that don’t don’t matter and taking action on the things that do is the smart way to live.