There are many things that get better with age. Wine, cheese, your favourite pair of jeans – the list goes on. One thing that also gets better with age, but is rarely talked about, is you!
Although we develop wrinkles and may need a good pair of reading glasses, there are many perks in aging that are important for your health and well-being.
Here are 9 things that get better with age (noticeably!):
1. Quality of Personal Relationships
Our lives consist of constantly fluctuating and evolving relationships. Of course, they aren’t always perfect, but studies say that relationships in our lives actually improve a great deal as we age.
Recent research revealed that older adults report higher quality social relationships compared to younger adults. Older adults experience better quality marriages, friendships, and have closer ties with their children.
Overall, aging helps us gain a much better understanding of social networking and become social experts which goes a long way to successfully avoid conflict with others.
Self-esteem and self-confidence climb to an all-time high as we add years to our lives. Though it may not feel like it, feeling positively about oneself is on a steady incline from early adulthood (ages 20 to 30) to later adulthood (70-80 years).
In fact, one report found that we are most comfortable and self-assured as a person at age 60.
This may have to do with having left your adolescent years, and all the body and mood changes that come with it, behind. Once we surpass that stage in our life, we stop trying to make others happy and start embracing ourselves for who we are.
Of course, there are many variables that can affect our self-esteem. We all have dealt with tough periods in life such as stress, romantic relationships, death and life transitions. Fortunately, age seems to minimize the mental impact of such factors.
How’s that for uplifting?
3. Ability to Make Good Decisions
Recent research has discovered an age-related advantage to how we make decisions. The older we get, the more experience and wisdom we gain, which can allow us to access the memories surrounding said experiences.
For example, if you have played multiple chess games in your life, you will gain knowledge about the patterns and potential moves in the game. This knowledge will assist you in a future game, and improve your decision-making. This is just one example, but it applies to all areas of our lives, not just games or pastimes.
When older adults have experienced the pros and cons of a decision, the craving for all things new and exciting diminishes and we are better able to assess consequences. As a Stanford News journalist wrote, “We start saving money. We drive closer to the speed limit. We turn down the last drink of the night. We act old.”
Aging adults can consider the gains and losses of a decision, and therefore use different strategies to decision making compared to younger adults.
4. Sex (Quality and Quantity)
The desire for intimacy is ageless. Sex is something that should be enjoyed for as many years as you wish and is certainly not for only youngsters!
Revisiting the self-confidence mentioned earlier in this post, the self-confidence boost that accompanies aging can be helpful for both you and your partner during intimacy. Surveys have also shown that sexual activity is tied to health.
Older adults are more inclined to know what works best for themselves during intimacy. In other words, they are less concerned with the unrealistic standards of appearances and performance that are commonly experienced in younger adults.
Not only do sexual relations improve with age, but being intimate with a partner has also shown positive benefits for mental and physical health.
5. A Positive Attitude
As you enter young adulthood, there are so many unstable factors that contribute to a stressful life. Finding a job, starting a family, buying a home – to name a few traditional concerns (and stressors) often experienced by many.
Thankfully, these stressors diminish with age when you finally have the time to enjoy the full life that you have created. A 2001 study also reported that negative emotions/feelings decreased with age. This has been attributed to the ability of older adults to regulate and effectively choose their emotional responses more efficiently than younger adults.
6. (Certain Forms of) Memory
This may sound counter-intuitive, but some types of memory actually improve with age. We are referring to a type of memory known as our semantic memory. Semantic memory is the ability to recall concepts and general facts. For example, being able to look at a clock and knowing that its purpose is to tell time.
Since aging adults have a greater accumulation of information acquired over time than young adults, their semantic memory is said to be better. Furthermore, this type of memory is reportedly impermeable to the effects of normal aging or mind-brain disease. This means it will only begin to decline if a more serious memory condition presents.
Learn more about age-related memory loss for other ways your memory is affected during aging.
7. Lessened Allergies
Allergies have been known to shift and change as we age. When the body is exposed to a certain allergen year after year (such as pollen), your immune system will eventually begin to recognize this recurring invader.
That’s the reason that allergies and their associated symptoms generally start to fade after the age of 50. This is due to the reduced immune response that occurs naturally with age.
Of course, it goes without saying that attempting to test a serious allergy without consulting a medical professional is not recommended.
8. Less Sleep, More Time
While it doesn’t sound all that desirable, we actually need fewer hours of sleep than our younger selves.
In a recent study, it was reported that older adults (aged 66-83) needed approximately 45 minutes less sleep than younger adults (aged 20-30), and 20 minutes less than middle-aged adults.
Less sleep can be explained by a few reasons, including older adults having trouble falling and staying asleep, taking longer to nod off, and spending less time in a deep, quality sleep. Interestingly, other studies have shown that older adults can function well with less sleep.
On the bright side, needing less sleep means you have more time to do things during your day!
9. Fewer Migraines
For the unlucky few who have experienced a migraine, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
Research has found a general reduction in the frequency and severity of headaches in migraine sufferers as we age. Additionally, individuals experience lower sensitivity to noise, light, and smells – all common triggers of migraines.
Although many of us experience issues like joint stiffness or not feeling as sharp as we used to, there remain many positives associated with getting older. It’s just a matter of recognizing them and having gratitude for what we do have.
At Kondor Pharma, we’re dedicated to helping older adults overcome common signs of aging, including healthier joints, memory support, and brain health. Discover the products we’ve developed, proudly manufactured in Canada, specifically for these concerns.