Contrary to Popular Belief, Getting Old Is Cool

A bunch of older people having fun

According to recent surveys, many believe there are social biases against aging in the world today. All too often, people equate aging with increasing aches and pains, illnesses, and even social isolation. While these become more common with getting older, this is quite the short-sighted view of aging overall. In fact, there are many joys of growing old that many people fail to appreciate. Aging naturally and gracefully means recognizing these benefits and enjoying them to their fullest. It also means identifying the many myths about aging that exist. Rather than dreading every birthday, we should be celebrating the many perks our later years offer.

(If you checked out our Boomer Goals series, you know there plenty of myths about aging–read up on them here.)

Certainly, some of today’s terms may prevent us from recognizing these joys of growing old. Countless products on the market are listed under the category of “anti-aging.” This automatically creates the notion that aging is something that should be avoided. But what if these same products were labeled as “healthy aging” or “aging well” items? This puts a different spin on things that encourage aging naturally and gracefully instead of fighting the inevitable. With this in mind, the following highlights the many wonderful joys of growing old that we should know about. And why getting older should no longer be something to avoid.

  • The Happiest Years of Your Life

Did you know that among all age groups, seniors rank among the happiest? Research evaluating this have consistently shown this to be true. Despite all the negative things we hear about aging, it turns out these are considered the best years by the majority. One of the reasons this is true is because we tend to know ourselves better as we get older. In large surveys, roughly half reported that their sense of self got better with age. Around the same percentage stated that they became more confident in their later years. It thus appears that one of the joys of grow older is in fact joy! By aging naturally and gracefully through life’s encounters, we gain an inherent sense of deep fulfillment. And it is this fulfillment and stronger sense of ourselves that brings us contentment and happiness. While few people speak about this as one of the joys of growing older, studies show this to be the case. And who doesn’t want to be happy?

  • A Depth of Insight and Wisdom

On a conceptual level, most of us associate aging with wisdom. We learned these concepts in school, and sages and mentors are typically portrayed as aged individuals. But despite this, the vast majority of older adults aren’t treated as being wise and knowledgeable. Many are treated as if they are feeble and lack mental capacity. Others’ ideas are pushed aside because they aren’t believed to be modern enough. But guess what? A lifetime of experiences does breed deeper insight and wisdom, and this too is one of the joys of growing old. Being able to look back on life, older adults tend to adopt a much broader perspective of things. As a result, age lets us consider a variety of options and alternatives. When aging naturally and gracefully, we cannot help but incorporate these experiences into our perceptions. What might have seemed like a tremendous problem in our 30s may be better recognized as unimportant and vice versa. Not only is having such wisdom a perk of aging naturally and gracefully. But it’s also something wonderful to share with those you care about.

  • A Wealth of Social Talents

In modern society, there’s a focus on the latest trends and happenings. Failing to keep pace with what’s new can give some the impression that you’re socially out of touch. Unfortunately, this is often the impression of older individuals by some in society. In fact, age discrimination often occurs because of misconceptions about older individuals’ ability to interact. But did you know that one of the greatest joys of growing older is the refined social skills that develop? It’s true! Over the course of life, we experience many relationships and conflicts. We learn how to better control our emotions and to empathize with others. In aging naturally and gracefully, we master skills to form new friendships and to manage relationships better. This is why roughly half of older individuals surveyed report improved family relationships in later life. Therefore, one of the things to look forward to with aging is the richness and value life’s relationships bring. The higher level of social awareness and skills that evolve provides one of the greatest joys of growing old.

  • Time for What Matters

When most of us are young, we have plenty of time but few resources to do as we please. As we then enter adulthood, we accumulate these resources but often lack the time needed to pursue our dreams. Our older years are hopefully when everything falls into place. This is one of the joys of growing old that many anticipate. Upon retirement, we enjoy the chance to invest our time and energies wherever we choose. This may be spending time with grandkids and family. it might be traveling or picking up a hobby you’ve always wanted to do. Aging naturally and gracefully allows us to realize new opportunities with the extra time we have. These activities can certainly add to the sense of fulfillment we gain in life. This is why many people’s older years end up being their most cherished of all.

The Golden Years Are Truly Golden

It might be true that there’s pressure to fight the aging process in society today. Roughly, three-quarters of people actually feel this way. But aging naturally and gracefully isn’t something we should avoid. Instead, we should embrace it and realize all the joys of growing old that these golden years offer. For whatever reason, aging has gotten a bad rap, but the truth is that aging naturally and gracefully is a beautiful thing. For most, it’s the happiest, richest, and most fulfilling part of our lives. And we should approach this time with both a sense of awe and enthusiasm.

 

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