If you’ve watched TV, read a magazine, or even logged onto the Internet recently, you’ve probably noticed how obsessed our culture is with youth. From anti-wrinkle creams to ED meds and everything in between, we’re constantly being sold the idea that getting older is bad. This idea doesn’t just apply to looks. From a young age, we’re told that our age comes with certain expectations, from starting a career and saving for retirement to getting married, buying a house and even having kids.
However, all of these ideas are wrong. Age does not and should not determine who or what we are. This is especially true now as we’re not only living longer but also staying healthier longer. Our growing aging population means it’s more important than ever that we rethink our ideas about aging.
How can you revamp your ideas about aging? Use these tips to help you:
- Stay Active – Its imperative for you to stay active, in every sense of the word, because older generations are already doing it. The National Sporting Goods Association published a study in 2015 that showed that 1.3 million Americans ages 55 to 74 enjoyed some kind of extreme sport that year. Its also estimated that 12% of 55 to 64 year olds are staying romantically active by using online dating apps, while 40% of people ages 65 to 80 are sexually active, according to the AARP. The longer you stay active, the younger your body and mind will feel, no matter what your age.
- Keep Working – The same ideas apply to the workplace, too. The 100 Year Life, a book and study by two London Businesses School professors, found that there are actually very few differences between age groups in the workplace. Older workers have just as much motivation, energy and work ethic as their younger counterparts.
- Ignore Cultural Stigmas – The ideas that we decline as we age are not backed by science at all, but are only cultural stigmas. Margaret Morganroth Gullette’s 2004 book, Aged by Culture, discusses this idea in depth, and proves that the “age-war” between older and younger generations isn’t realistic or healthy. Believing the cultural fallacy that you lose worth as you age only makes you lose hope.
- Believe In Your Youth – Trinity College Dublin conducted a study that found people with negative attitudes towards aging actually saw increased adverse cognitive and physical effects than people who believed in their youth. If you feel and act younger than you are, you will physically and mentally stay younger. Embracing the cultural idea of old age can actually make you ill.
Old age is a cultural concept that can only hold you back from living your life to the fullest. Use these tips to rethink your ideas about aging so you can have a long, fulfilling and healthy life without limitations.
How are you rethinking your ideas about age? Have you seen any positive benefits of this in your life? Comment below to share your story.
Look out for more helpful tips and tricks in future articles.