Forget about wrinkles and gray hair. There are many reasons to celebrate every time you add a candle to your birthday cake, not everything is bad when you get older, there are many good things too. You gain wisdom and many other benefits with age.
Here's a look at some of the good things that come with aging.
1.Ability to manage social conflicts
Much of the drama of youth goes out the window with the wisdom of maturity. As we age, we can view social situations and handle them a little more wisely.
Researchers at the University of Michigan put this to the test. For their study published in PNAS magazine, they asked 200 participants to read the letters from "Dear Abby" and offer their best advice. The 60-year-olds were better than their younger counterparts at reaching multiple outcomes for a social conflict and were better at imagining different points of view, while preferring solutions that involved compromise.
2.An encyclopedic knowledge
When you are young, you are learning new things all the time. You are memorizing mathematical formulas and spelling words, learning historical events and scientific equations. Your brain is a sponge.
When you are older, you use what you know.
Psychologists often refer to two main types of intelligence: fluid and crystallized. Fluid intelligence is someone's ability to solve problems, learn new things, and use logical thinking in unfamiliar situations.
With fluid intelligence, you don't use prior knowledge to help you figure things out. You can use fluid intelligence when solving a puzzle or doing something creative, like playing an instrument for the first time. Fluid intelligence usually peaks in adulthood and then slowly declines.
Crystallized intelligence, however, is based on what you have learned in the past. You make use of information and skills that you have already mastered. You use it in situations like reading comprehension and vocabulary tests. Because you keep gathering knowledge, crystallized intelligence keeps increasing as you age.
3.A greater sense of well-being
It's known as the aging paradox: as people get older they also get happier.
In one study, researchers surveyed more than 1,500 San Diego residents between the ages of 21 and 99, and found that those in their 20s were the most stressed and depressed, while those in their 90s had the most. content.
"The consistency was really amazing," Dilip Jeste, director of the UC San Diego Center for Healthy Aging and lead author of the study, told the Los Angeles Times. "People who were in old age were happier, more satisfied, less depressed, had less anxiety and less perceived stress than the younger respondents."
Other studies have also looked at the link between aging and happiness. They have found that as we get older, we become more confident, and people who trust others are more likely to be happier.
Older people often have greater financial well-being, so you remove the monetary element from the stress equation. Also, they tend to let go of negative emotions and focus on positive events.
4.A window of immunity
Young children get sick all the time. They get colds at school and catch everything because their growing immune system is still developing. The good news is that as you age, your adult immune system recognizes these microbes as they invade your body and form an "immune memory."
But there is an ideal time frame, says John Upham of the University of Queensland.
"It starts to wane in their 70s or 80s, but there is a sweet spot for people, particularly in their 40s to 60s and early 70s, where the immune system remembers viruses experienced over the years."
During that time, you are less likely to catch colds and get sick.
Forget about getting old and going crazier. As you get older, chances are high that it will be more pleasant and easier to get along with you.
In a study of more than 132,000 people between the ages of 21 and 60, researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, looked at general trends in personality traits. They found that participants began to be the most likable in their 30s and continued to improve throughout their 60s, according to the American Psychological Association.
This even happened among men, debunking the concept of "grumpy old men," said lead researcher and psychologist Sanjay Srivastava, Ph.D.
6 fewer migraines
If you've suffered from migraines for most of your life, you can take a break as you age.
If hormones are one of a woman's headache triggers, migraines can sometimes subside after menopause, according to the American Headache Society.
Only 10% of women and 5% of men over the age of 70 still report migraines, WebMD reports. And if you still have migraines, they can come without a headache. As people age, some may experience migraines as visual or sensory disturbances without any pain.
Hot flashes aside, you may sweat less as you get older. (Well, technically, you sweat differently.)
With age, the sweat glands shrink and there are fewer.
A study in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that women in their 20s sweat more than women in their 50s and 60s. The researchers attributed the difference to "a decreased response of the sweat glands to central and / or peripheral stimuli" or "an age-related structural alteration in the eccrine glands or surrounding skin cells."
8 change in self-esteem
Gone was the insecurity of youth. Research finds that self-esteem is highest around the age of 60.
In an article published in the Psychological Bulletin, the researchers analyzed 191 journal articles and dissertations on self-esteem that involved nearly 165,000 people. They found that self-esteem begins to grow between the ages of 4 and 11, and then stabilizes in the early teenage years at 11 to 15 years.
“On average, self-esteem increases in early and middle childhood, remains constant (but does not decrease) in adolescence, increases strongly in young adulthood, continues to increase in middle adulthood, reaches a peak between 60 and 70 years , and then decreases in old age, with a sharper fall in old age, "they concluded.
That self-confidence stays strong for about a decade, then declines around age 90, often for health reasons.
Less sweat, more self-esteem, fewer headaches, and so much more? It sounds like a very good compensation for a couple of funny phrases.