Many humans fear getting older. We worry about wrinkles, aching bones, and losing our independence. However, we often overlook plenty of positive aspects of aging. In fact, there’s an upside to getting older, and we often get better in the process.
Getting older has been on my mind this past week since I celebrated my 63rd birthday. I don’t feel my age—except for a few ailments or aches. Mostly, I feel like I’m getting better as I age.
But lots of people I know wouldn’t agree. They regularly complain about the downside of aging. As a result, they feel the adverse effects of aging a bit more with every passing day.
And then there are those who get divorced and remarry, start running marathons or enter body building competitions, or begin new careers later in life. They see aging as an opportunity to reinvent themselves and feel more free and alive than when they were younger.
You’re Not Getting Older, You’re Getting Better
Aging is a natural process you can’t avoid, yet society gives aging a negative connotation. Therefore, people do whatever they can to cover up their wrinkles, grey or thinning hair, forgetfulness, and declining health. In fact, many people go to great lengths and expenses to appear young.
The more you focus on the negative aspects of aging, the more you see and experience them. I know you don’t want that, so instead, realize that research suggests that aging has many benefits. With every passing year, you can get better, not just older. Focus on that.
With this in mind—and my desire to keep improving as I age, I created a list of eight benefits to aging. I’d like to share them with you.
1. More Wisdom
As you age, you gain more experience. If you look back at your life and reflect on the lessons you’ve learned, your experiences lead to wisdom. Additionally, you learn from past mistakes and become better equipped to handle various situations.
Research has shown that older adults have developed more emotional intelligence as well. Therefore, you become better at regulating your emotions than when you were younger.
At the age of 60, women are called “crones.” You might think this is a derogatory term, but it’s not. Instead, it refers to a woman “coming of age” and stepping into her powerful wise-woman stage of life. I believe men also experience a similar transformation.
2. Greater Self-Knowledge
Along with wisdom comes self-knowledge. This is especially true if you are willing to look at yourself and your life honestly, take responsibility for your past choices, and reflect on how you’ve changed—or still need to change. However, even if you spend little time in self-reflection, age improves your understanding of yourself.
As an older individual, you are more aware of your strengths and weaknesses and better at identifying your goals and aspirations. This self-awareness allows you to make better-informed decisions. After all, at this stage of life, you have clarity on what you want, who you are, and who you want to be.
While some people don’t want to focus on their personal or spiritual growth as they age, others find the “golden years” the perfect time to change. In fact, you may discover that the longer you live, the more desire you have to reinvent yourself.
3. Increased Confidence and Self-Assurance
As you age, your self-assurance grows. Thus, you become more comfortable in your own skin. All that wisdom and self-knowledge give you the strength to confidently face new challenges.
Older people tend to be more assertive and less sensitive to criticism because of their higher levels of self-esteem. Thus, you aren’t concerned about external judgment or expectations because you feel good about yourself.
4. Higher Levels of Mental and Emotional Intelligence
Another advantage of aging comes from the development of mental and emotional stability. Older adults are more resilient to stress and emotional turmoil. They have a greater sense of acceptance of the things they cannot change and are more adaptable.
This mental and emotional stability brings greater contentment and the ability to enjoy life, often without worrying about the future. In addition, as you get older, it becomes easier to be in the moment and focus your thoughts and regulate your emotions.
Additionally, you’ve learned to respond rather than react to circumstances. You know things tend to work out, and lessons exist in every experience. And you are well aware that change is inevitable.
5. Stronger Relationships
As you age, your social circle may become smaller. Still, research has shown that the relationships the elderly have are more meaningful. Thus, older adults have stronger bonds with their loved ones and enjoy more fulfilling relationships with friends and family.
Over time, you learn to appreciate real friends and connect with them. And with many friends, you have context since they “knew you when.” They’ve seen you change and grow and accept you as you are—and you do the same.
Plus, as you age, you become more discerning and let go of relationships that don’t serve you. You dare to only associate with those who add something to your life.
6. Better Physical Health
Contrary to popular belief, getting older doesn’t always mean declining health. In fact, many older adults prioritize their health more than when they were younger. As a result, in many cases, you could argue that aging comes with better physical health.
As you get older, you are more aware of the need to care for your physical body. So you eat healthier food, exercise regularly, seek medical care when needed, and take up hobbies that stimulate your mind. As a result, you create a better quality of life and can even thrive in your golden years.
Plus, aging doesn’t necessarily mean declining health. In fact, with technological advances, humans are living longer and healthier lives. So, in addition to taking better physical care of yourself, remember that a positive outlook on life can help you maintain your physical health even in old age.
7. Fulfillment from Hobbies and Passions
If you leave the workforce and retire, you have more time for the things you love. You can devote yourself to hobbies or passions you may have had to put on hold when you were younger. This newfound freedom allows you to travel, volunteer, and explore new interests. In other words, you can live out your retirement dreams and enjoy the fruits of your labor.
You might choose not to retire but to focus only on the parts of your work that give you joy and fulfillment. You may drop certain parts of your career that feel like busy work and focus on your life’s work instead.
Either way, doing things you feel passionate about or that make you happy and fulfilled keeps you young. It might even rejuvenate you and make you feel younger than your years.
8. Opportunity to Age Gracefully
You can choose to age with grace when you get to the point that your aging is apparent and a simple fact of life. No more fighting to find ways to hide the wrinkles and grey hair. No more struggling to walk without a walker. No more thing to be someone others expect or want you to be. Instead, you can proudly display the changes that make it clear you are a strong individual who has lived a long life.
In fact, in your later years, you become an expert on life. Revel in your age and aging process. It’s something for which you deserve to be respected and honored. Stand tall, and be proud of who you are, how far you have come…and how long you have lived.
How to Age with a Positive Outlook on the Future
I’m not saying that getting older doesn’t come with challenges. Of course, it does, but the again process isn’t all bad—unless you see it as such.
Embrace and celebrate every stage of your life. Recognize and accept the gifts that come with getting older.
It is essential to realize that aging is not something to fear or dread. If you do that, you create an aging journey and experience you do not want. After all, your thoughts are creative; if you focus them on challenging later years, that is what you will manifest.
Embrace aging as a beautiful, natural process that comes with benefits. Appreciate the beauty, strength, wisdom, and power that come with it. And, as a result, you will see that you are not getting older. You are getting better.
Do you embrace the aging process or fight against it?
Tell me in a comment below. And please share this post with a friend or on social media.
If you want to activate your 10 human drives so you nourish your soul consistently, let’s chat. Get on my calendar here. Or join the Inspired Creator Community for group transformational coaching every month. (In March 2023, we begin a new series related to the human drives.)
Photo courtesy of:RODNEProductions