Society has a predominantly negative view of aging. It is thought of as a time of physical and mental decline. Anxiety about getting older has become one of the most common fears. But are those fears justified?
Every stage of life has positive and negative aspects and getting older is no different. If you are approaching the later stages of life with trepidation, here are a few things that might actually get better.
You Can Affect Your Future Physical Health
If you fear the physical decline that sometimes goes with getting older, you can take proactive steps now to support health as you age. Let go of negative habits like smoking, find a fitness routine that you enjoy, prioritize sleep, adopt a healthy diet and learn to minimize stress. All of these things will make you healthier now and in the future.
Don’t let your fear of aging keep you from addressing health issues when they arise. As you age, support your health by seeing your physician regularly, taking necessary medications, and using products like menopause or prostate health supplements.
It may also help to know that according to theconversation.com, a majority of older adults report feeling younger than their age, and much younger than they feared they would earlier in life.
You May Be Happier When You’re Older
With all the apprehension about the negative aspects of getting older, you may be surprised to find out that people tend to get happier as they get older. The website latimes.com reports on a recent clinical study that indicates a steady increase in feelings of well-being that directly correlated with age.
The study does not determine the reason why this is true but posits that it could be due to a higher level of appreciation for the positive aspects of their lives, a shift of focus from results to relationships and a level of life experience that increases their stress tolerance.
You Might Be Kinder Later in Life
Most people become better human beings as they age. According to dailymail.co.uk, older people are more likely to volunteer their time to community organizations than young people. They also donate more money to causes that they believe in. Older adults show a decreased focus on material things and a greater concern about world issues.
This transformation may be rooted in chemical changes in the brain that coincide with aging. Or it could be that a lifetime of experience has taught older people what is truly important in life. Either way, you can look forward to being the best version of yourself as you get older.
You Will Get Wiser as You Age
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines wisdom as, “the ability to discern inner qualities and relationships; insight; good sense; judgment”. The more years you live, the more experiences and relationships you will have. Every experience and every person you meet will teach you valuable lessons about who you are, what you value and what is important.
Along with wisdom comes a level of confidence that is rarely experienced in earlier life. Older people take life’s hardships with a higher level of equanimity than younger people because they have experienced many difficulties and know they have the strength to endure. They experience the joys of life more profoundly because they are mature enough to understand that time is fleeting. They have more compassion for others because they remember the mistakes they have made in the past.
Getting older is not to be feared. It is the process of becoming who you are. You cannot avoid the physical effects of aging, but you do have the power to ease them by taking action to be healthier right now. Additionally, it’s likely that you won’t feel nearly as old as you’re afraid you will. Regardless of your physical experience, getting older may bring with it higher levels of happiness, greater depths of kindness and the wisdom to be a better person. Why would anyone be afraid of that?