In our youth-obsessed culture, it is easy to overlook the benefits of aging. Here are 5 advantages to make you smile about the growing number of candles on your cake.
You are likely happier than you used to be.
Many studies have shown that people are happiest when they are young and then over 70. Life satisfaction dips in middle age. Why? It could be attributed to the accumulation of life experiences, decreased career and family stress or high self-esteem. Whatever the reason, we will take it!
You are enjoying your work.
A recent study shows that 92 percent of workers aged 50 or older report being very or somewhat satisfied with their job. Only 80 percent of those under 30 report the same thing. 38 percent of young adults admit being very satisfied with their work, vs. 63 percent of those 65 and older who say they are deeply satisfied. Why the difference? Some say it is because older workers have found work they find fulfilling or have already made it up the corporate ladder to positions they enjoy more.
Your marriage is stronger.
It has been shown that marriage gets better with more anniversaries. The stresses of marriage in middle-age bring couples closer as the years pass leading to more expression of affection. Happy marriages are definitely a good thing as those who are happily married tend to enjoy better mental and physical health than their single friends.
You are better able to handle social conflicts.
A study from the University of Michigan found that older people are better at dealing with social conflicts using reasoning. They are more proficient at understanding different perspectives, suggesting compromises and coming up with several reasonable resolutions.
Your brain tends to work better.
Yes, really! It was once thought that we were born with a certain number of brain cells that slowly died off as we age. Science now knows that our brains continue to grow neurons as we age and can reshape itself in response to what it learns. Learning to juggle, learning a new language or learning to play an instrument can add new connections in areas including hearing, memory and coordination. Studies also confirm that our vocabulary grows and becomes richer and providing more subtle ways of expressing ourselves. Reasoning and problem-solving skills also become sharper as we are better able to use both halves of the brain compared to younger folks. Brain scans show increased bilateralization with age leading to a better ability to use more of the brain.
A recent article in the Wall Street Journal addresses studies that show you truly are as old as you feel. Attitude is everything when it comes to aging and most things in life.