When we think of aging, we tend to think of our bodies falling apart. It’s not a positive notion, and while it’s true, we do need to do more physical maintenance than in any other time in our lives, there are some ways we actually improve as we get older. We should rejoice in our age! Here are scientific ways we tend to peak at from age 50 and older.
School was a long time ago, but we all recall the hours we spent studying and filling our growing brains. Remember the SAT test? What a nightmare. Actually, there’s a chance you would do better on it now, than when you were 17. Studies show that our vocabulary continues to expand well into our senior years, peaking not until our 70s. And while pattern recognition still belongs to our younger generations, we are better at arithmetic than our junior counterparts. Arithmetic skills continue to improve until age 50. That means we probably need a calculator less than our children.
Satisfaction With Ourselves
One of the biggest issues in America is weight. We battle with obesity and the acceptance of a body that isn’t the social ideal. It’s no wonder so many young people are unhappy with the way they look. Not so for us! Senior men say they are happy with the way they look, into their early 80s, and for women, it hovers just a little lower at age 74. We’re also happier with the lives we’ve led, as whole. Those who are still building and working, and finding their way aren’t as content with their big picture. 23 year-olds, however, do match up to the 69 year-olds who hold the highest life satisfaction ratings. Our working years, it seems, has a negative impact on our life perspective.
But after 69 we continue to become happier, psychologically. Those at 82 years-old said they are currently living their best possible life, the past not part of the equation. Which means as we get age, we enjoy ourselves more.
Greater Outer View
When we get older, we become less self-absorbed, and this leads to great benefits. For one, we have a higher sense of empathy. When we see another person, it’s easier for us to understand them and what they’re feeling. The ability to look outside ourselves and have an accurate intuition about other people peaks in our 50s. And, even better, here’s one aging cliché we can get on board with: studies show that older people actually are wiser. Wisdom is highest after age 60, indicated by better comprehending conflicts, in turn understanding other points of view, picking out what isn’t quite so clear and obvious, and being able to come to viable conclusions.
Getting older means becoming wiser, happier, and selfless. You can formulate the restaurant tab as fast as you can come up with that obscure word your daughter’s never heard before. You’re living the good, life, not that you didn’t know that already.