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What Will You Gain?

Excerpt from Daily Cures, Wisdom for Healthy Aging

What are your expectations concerning the benefits of growing old? Is the word benefit an oxymoron when discussing aging? In general, our culture has nothing good to say about life after 50. After all, it is called over the hill. Bad jokes seem to be the only way we handle this universal condition in our world. Laughing about it is the only alternative. Will Rogers said, “Everyone wants to live a long time, but no one wants to get old.” We spend millions of dollars staving off the inevitable. The early years of our lives are spent eagerly anticipating the future, but when we hit 50, the black balloons, bad jokes, and Botox enter the conversation. This is all wrong according to new research about the aging population. We need education and a new attitude!

It may come as a surprise, but recent studies have demonstrated that as people age, they tend to become happier and more satisfied with their lives. Who knew? Research from Northwestern University indicates this improvement in well-being may be in part due to the ability to be more trusting, which in turn creates several benefits for well-being. The study of over 200,000 people in 83 countries over 30 years drew the connection between age and the ability to trust. Claudia Haase, professor of social policy at Northwestern, said, “Trust may benefit well-being because a sense of trust in other people allows us to derive support, comfort, and pleasure from our social relationships." There are many things to gain, but happiness sounds like the biggest prize of all! It is time we put the black balloons away and start talking about getting happy!

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