Much is written about the negatives associated with the aging process. Instead of worrying about the things we can’t change, why don’t we take a moment to appreciate some of the positives that come with growing older? Below are 5 facts about aging that you can look forward to.
1) You’ll Be Happier
A recent study has found that people were happiest during their youth and then again in their 70’s and 80’s. A very similar study out of the University of Chicago found that levels of happiness climbed between the ages of 65 and 85. Many experts believe that this is due to older people being able to access the social and emotional instincts they’ve built over a lifetime of experiences. So instead of cringing at the thought of getting older, try getting excited that you can expect to be happiest in your later years.
2) You’ll Catch Fewer Colds
Whenever you are exposed to a virus, your body develops antibodies that make you immune to that virus moving forward. So every time you catch a cold in your lifetime, you are reducing your chances to contract one of the estimated 200 cold viruses in the future. The American Lung Association says that young children catch a cold between six and eight times a year, whereas the average adult will catch one between two and four times a year. This increased immunity as we age does not apply to the flu virus though, which mutates every year. So keep washing those hands.
3) You’ll Live Longer Than Previous Generations, Especially If You Put Down The Soda
With advances in medical technology we can expect to live longer than the generations before us. We can help out by choosing to stop drinking soda. Researchers at Harvard have found that phosphate, the tangy mineral found in sodas, caused mice to die much quicker than those without phosphate in their system. A host of maladies is scientifically linked with carbonated beverages, including brittle bones, pancreatic cancer, muscle weakness and paralysis. So help yourself live longer by helping yourself to some beverages other than soda.
4) You’ll Need Less Sleep
Everyone is different in regards to the amount of sleep they require to be alert and functional throughout their day, but recent studies have shown that as we age we may require less sleep to function at a high level. One study out of the UK found that the amount of sleep needed for those age 20-30 was 7.23 hours. Compare that 6.83 hours needed for those age 40-55, and 6.51 hours for age 66-83 and one can notice a trend.
5) You’ll Stay Close With Your Friends And Live Longer Because of It
Most people know that having good friends can enrich your life, but research is now showing that our friends also increase our longevity. The study found that “people with extensive networks of good friends and confidantes outlived those with the fewest friends by 22 percent”. Many experts attribute part of this to friends encouraging each other to take care of themselves in ways like cutting down on smoking or seeking medical treatment earlier for symptoms that may indicate serious problems. So stay close with your friends and you’ll live a long life full of great friendships.