We tend to associate old age with the decline of our faculties. But recent research finds three key areas where we thrive rather than decline in our old age. This is really great news for all of us golden oldies. And if you have a golden oldie in your life make sure they read this.
The key areas we thrive in are: 1. Better brain power. 2. Better sleep. 3. Less stress. These three areas have a very positive influence on the quality of our lives. They are strengths that help us to age gracefully.
Better brain power in old age
While your brain like your body declines with age your greater knowledge and understanding of the world makes up for it. Like for example your increased knowledge of facts and how things work. You have more interest and time to use your ability to learn new things.
Your role in imparting knowledge to your family and friends of different ages and stages is a great form of learning. It allows you to recall and refine information. To put it in a modern context and to relearn what you may otherwise have forgotten.
You acquire the ability to knit together your memory, knowledge, interest and experience. You keep these skills and build on them as long as you are healthy. And you have the time to add to them by reading about and studying new developments. And discussing them with like-minded family and friends.
Better sleep in old age
Sleep gets better for you rather than worse as you get older. Apart from a set back in your forties the quality of sleep gets better as you age. With people in their eighties getting the best sleep according to a study in Sleep Journal.
While depression and health problems cause poor sleep the quality of your sleep improves as you get older. With the fewest complaints about sleep problems coming from the over seventies.
This means you are more rested and better able to face the day. Sleep is restorative and builds your reserve of strengths and your ability to cope with the ups and downs of everyday life.
Less stress in old age
You have less stress in your old age. The advantage of this is that while your body’s response to stress doesn’t diminish. The things that trigger stress reduce. Which makes it far easier for you to manage it.
Many of the little anxieties of your younger years are less prevalent. You are more comfortable with yourself. It is easier for you to accept your shortcomings. So you are less stressed by the day-to-day events of your life.
You also have a greater sense of what you can and what you cannot control. And a more realistic expectation of yourself and of what life has to offer. All of which combine to make you more content with your lot. And better able to cope with what life has to offer you.
Play to your strengths
These are three great strengths. Each of them gives you a great advantage in their own right. More than this when you combine them and use them together they make a great difference to the quality of your life.
The key to success in old age is to use these strengths to their full extent. Indeed this is important at any age. But it is very reassuring to know that these key strengths come to the fore at a time when your physical strengths are not what they were in your younger years. And adjusting your life style to enable you to use them to their full advantage is the key to happiness and long life.
Adjusting your lifestyle isn’t easy. It takes time, patience and a lot of hard work. Mainly because you are set in your ways like the rest of us. And your thoughts can trick you into falling back into your old ways. So your best bet is to take up a hobby or better still a number of hobbies. Ones that use your strengths. If it is something you are really interested in then it is are more likely to work for you.