As a senior citizen, I hear a lot of complaints from folks who are aging, some are not even seniors yet. “I have slowed down.” “My memory is shot.” “Everything hurts.” “I’m always tired.”
But, ConsumerReports onHealth lists five good things about aging in their latest issue.
Anger, stress and worry become less common. People in their 70s and 80s report being less troubled by those negative emotions than younger age groups.
Laura Christensen Ph.D., psychologist at Stanford and director of its Center on Longevity, says that as people age, they worry less about the future. “As people get older, they’re more likely to stop and smell the roses.”
onHealth suggests that we try to adopt a more positive outlook on life. Focus on daily activities that you enjoy. Let go of negative feelings. Type positive psychology into the search box at the right for about a dozen blog posts on positive psychology.
Wisdom grows. The brain clings to its experience-based knowledge well into old age, other research suggests.
onHealth suggests staying mentally and physically active to help keep the mind sharp and protect the brain from atrophy. I have written repeatedly about this over the last three years. Check out Important Facts About Your Brain for nearly a dozen blog posts on the brain and the value of physical exercise in keeping it functioning and sharp.
Marriages get healthier. Married seniors report greater satisfaction and more positive experiences with their mates than younger couples. Also marital arguments between older folks involve less anger.
The publication suggests that we take a cue from happily married seniors. Try to work out conflicts with affection and express positive rather than negative emotions.
Satisfaction with social relationships grows. Seniors typically have smaller closer circles of friends than younger adults. Social connectedness helps seniors stay healthy. A new study shows that seniors who volunteer also reap cognitive benefits.
The publication recommends maintaining social contact and reaching out by volunteering.
Finally happiness increases. Researchers at Stanford University say that feelings of emotional well-being may not only improve your quality of life, but also add years to it.
onHealth suggests developing new interests and indulging in small pleasures. “Increased participation in leisure and physical activities may result in more positive emotions and protect your mental well-being.”