As George Bernard Shaw noted, “Youth is wasted on the young”. Ah, to have all the benefits of age in a 25-year-old body…
But there is plenty to acknowledge and be thankful for as we get older; aging has very real and concrete advantages other than being able to claim AARP discounts at your favorite restaurant.
Consider the following.
1. Adults Past Middle Age Need Less Sleep.
That means there are more waking hours to do all the stuff you didn’t have time for when you were younger. Time to read, walk, go to a museum, travel, paint, play music, do puzzles, and spend time with family and friends.
While needing less, many older people have trouble falling or staying asleep—this is somewhat different and isn’t healthy. While problems with sleep can be attributed to a variety of factors, those with no sleep complaints sleep less than younger people.
2. Attitude is Everything.
Healthy people over the age of 60 have a more positive outlook on life than people in their 20s. It’s no wonder they are still healthy and active; those who are optimistic have a general tendency toward these.
One study that investigated the correlation of negative/positive emotional responses to the age of the subjects concluded:
“Aging did not impact the connectivity among regions engaged during the encoding of negative information, but age differences did arise during the encoding of positive information. Most notably, in older adults, the ventromedial prefrontal cortex and amygdala strongly influenced hippocampal activity during the encoding of positive information.”
In other words, older people are more likely to associate and remember positive memories and attitudes.