For years, studies showed that the older we get, the less capable we become. However, new studies by the universities of Virginia, Texas and Stanford indicate that many of our previous notions about aging are dead wrong.
Over the next two minutes, Steve McDonald talks about what’s now being considered the new best years of peoples’ lives.
Here’s a non-money Two-Minute, but one I know you’ll love.
Getting older is not what we have been led to believe. In fact, new studies indicate our 70s are the best years of our lives.
Everyone knows as we age, our cognitive abilities decline, we become less productive, we enjoy life less… and everything you have ever heard about this part of life is dead wrong!
New research tells us all of the old assumptions about aging are not just wrong, they are way off and are based on flawed research.
Despite the popularly held belief that old age is made up of depression, loneliness and decline, new evidence from the Universities of Virginia and Texas points to an increased sense of well-being, more intimate relationships, an improved ability to prioritize and certain types of intelligence continue to develop.
Our expertise deepens, which enhances productivity and creativity, and the wisdom we have developed over the decades actually increases our ability to resolve conflicts and to see problems from many perspectives.
Of course, not all people age as well as others, but according to a new report from Stanford, less than 10% of retired folks fit into the category of the cranky, depressed and irritable stereotype.
That same Stanford study reports that our sense of well-being actually improves steadily until about age 70 and then levels off. And, most surprising, it also found that youth is not the best time of life. It actually is in our 70s that we really start to enjoy life.
That’s no surprise to me. I never want to be 18 or 20 again and know as little as I did then. That was not fun!
And, barring dementia, cognitive decline and memory loss usually associated with aging, the new data actually shows our brains are crowded with decades of memories that have been mistaken for memory issues and slowing activity.
In fact, it seems the tests and experiments of the past, which were the basis of most of our ideas about aging, were flawed. Most were conducted in laboratory settings, where younger participants are more comfortable and familiar, and lead to the mistaken conclusions that aging has to result in slowing mental activity.
We actually do better in the real world – not the laboratory.
In fact, by design, most testing in the past that purported to measure declining mental activity actually was designed to rule out life experiences so as not to give older persons an advantage in the experiments.
Well, if experience isn’t an advantage in life, what is? Lack of experience? God, you’ve got to love college-based research.
The saddest aspect of these new studies is that when older people believe the stereotypes about their declining performance and abilities, they actually test lower.
And the best way to prevent a decline in our mental capacities is to learn new tasks and stay social.
So, get out there, get a date, do a crossword puzzle – oh, and it’s OK to cheat a little – and stop believing what you read and hear about aging.
Bridge is a good thing to learn, too. I like it.
So, go out and do something… like blow a young, inexperienced, opinionated, snickering little brat out of the water.
Aging is not what we have been led to believe. And you can believe that!