Celebrating the Beauty of Aging: Three Benefits of Growing Older
With over 800 million people in the world over the age of 60, there have been many studies and articles about the social consequences of an aging population. They suggest that there will be overcrowding in nursing homes, economic pressures, and strains on social security. However, many of these studies fail to point out the positive elements of aging. As we grow older, we gain physical and mental benefits that should be celebrated all over the world.
Fighting Back Against Deadly Invaders
In 1918, the flu pandemic killed 50 million people and was one of the deadliest in history. However, the disease seemed to have skipped over people that were over the age of 65. The same thing happened during the 2009 swine flu outbreak. This is because human immune systems create a memory of diseases and learn how to fight them. Therefore, our bodies get wiser with age and learn how to spot dangers of invaders and generate a rapid response. For people over the age of 65, the immune system remembers viruses that it has experienced over the years and ultimately translates to fewer colds, fewer allergies, and an immunity to some global pandemics.
With Age Comes Wisdom
People all over the world tell their young to always listen to their elders. Now, science is showing that this proverb is actually scientifically sound and that wisdom is one of the biggest assets of growing old. Researchers at the University of Michigan showed 200 people “Dear Abby” letters and asked them what advice they would give the writer. The results showed that older adults over the age of 60 were better at imagining different points of view, thinking about a wide range of solutions, and suggesting compromises or advice. Therefore, the older a person was, the wiser they became in a number of social situations and managing emotions.
A Lifetime of Memories Makes Us Happier
People say that your 20s will be the best times of your life. However, recent studies are proving that seniors are actually enjoying life more than any other age group. In a recent survey of over 1,500 San Diego residents between the ages of 21 to 99, those that were in their 90s were happier and more content with their lives than any other age. As people age, they tend to shift from goals about exploration to those about savoring relationships, creating memories, and participating in meaningful activities. Therefore, they have higher self-esteem, greater emotional stability, and a more positive outlook on life.
Age is something that should be celebrated. As we grow older, we learn to cherish our memories, we become fighters against invaders, and we give the best advice.