You Can be Happier as You Age

Aging is a given. Everyone will be old one day if they are lucky. Sometimes at a certain age you will be stunned at the number of birthdays you’ve had. But growing older doesn’t mean you can’t be happy. You can be even happier as you age than when you were young. You learn to be more patient and little things don’t upset you. You appreciate your blessings and you have more fun. You can do things you love that you never had time for before. Growing older doesn’t mean your life is over, sometimes it’s a new beginning.

The accepted idea is that life gets crummier with age, but ask any older woman how she feels about aging and nine times out of ten she will say her life is better than when she was a young woman. People really are happier as they age. People have the mind set that they will be less happy as they go into middle age and older, but are pleasantly surprised to find it isn’t so. When we’re older we live more in the present. The brain tends to diminish the negative as the part of our brain that processes emotions changes how it reacts to the negative. When we’re young we see a long life stretching out before us and pursue long time goals, but as we age we focus on goals we can accomplish now which gives us joy and satisfaction.

Mary Hancock of Chattanooga, Tennessee at age 75 started a college course in art, something she had long wanted to do but something always got in her way. She not only finished the course and began painting. She actually sells her paintings and loves the creativity. She is putting away funds for her grandchildren’s education and has never been happier. As we age we become more adaptive.

It’s true we lose our mates. Family and friends will pass away. But we learn to adapt to loss. Things that used to tick us off no longer matter. We chalk it up to life and move on. We learn to stick with relationships that are real and let go of those that are hollow. It’s not the quantity that counts but the quality. The stereotype of the quarrelsome old cat lady down the street is still alive and well, but how many old ladies like that do you really know? Likely not a one.

Sad to say that image does real damage and puts a bad reflection on older women. But don’t fret, odds are none of us will wind up like that. We are not sitting in rockers watching the world go by anymore. We are active and out in the world. We are up to date on current events and our voices are heard.

A study done at Harvard found that older people who are exposed to positive age stereotypes perform better physically and mentally than those exposed to negative ones. For most of us, we love our lives and wouldn’t turn back time even if we could.

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  1. Wow, very motivational and inspirational to say the least… well done.

  2. I am 61 and my sister is 55. We were plopped on the comfy pink bed at her house surrounded by kitties and one adorable little girl pup. We had a girls’ only day. We both declared this is the happiest we have ever been in our lives. More happy to come!

  3. Yes, aging is better than the alternative!!! While I sometimes wonder where the years went, I am thankful for the life experiences I have been through, as it truly has made me patient, stronger and with a positive outlook…

  4. Ruby, i agree, it is always a new beginning, you enjoy your life in true sense, small small things make your day, you are away from unhealthy tactics, you work like a coach, a mentor, for your kids, for the society, it gives you a real satisfaction, nice article, thanks

  5. Ruby, you make me look forward to getting older, thank you for that :)

  6. As I age, I learn to follow where life leads me and stop trying to lead life to where I want to go. I usually end up at the same place anyway.

  7. Great article that inspires immensely I live now as if there is no tomorrow. I enjoy every day bad or good and if you only smile once in a day it means you have had a good day.
    Best Wishes

  8. excellent one.

  9. Cheers for your attitude and positive thinking! Very well written and expressed.

  10. Wow this is great.I like it

  11. I know I can never be :(

  12. Thanks for shattering the notion that all old people worry about the what ifs in life, siting in their rockers. Maybe I should tell all of them to stay positive nevertheless.

  13. Great share Ruby, people seem to think younger and do more these days, I remember when my Mom got to a certain age she worn old lady clothes now she is 83 and visiting australia and having the time of her life.
    I am happy where I am at but wish I knew what I know now when I was 25 or so ^_^

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  15. well written article

  16. I like it, great info

  17. Wonderful.

  18. There are lots of things, I have still to do, and learn before I curl my toes up… liked that one lots Ruby cheers

  19. In time (or with age) we learn what are the most important things in life, and we focus on them – which makes us happier.

  20. What an inspiration you are, my dear friend. I find with age I have more time to do fun things like ballroom dance. In fact our children tell us we are never home anymore, we are either at work or doing something fun.

  21. I’m pretty young but i guess this can have a positive effect on me.
    And is it ok to post these links:

  22. You and tulan are the Jerry Seinfelds of triond. Both of you have the uncanny capacity to write about relatively banal topics and convert them into exceptionally interesting articles.

    I have actually seen some of tulan’s brother/sister articles trending at yahoo! And the despair you conveyed when your Google AdSense account was suspended was emotionally gut wrenching.

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