There are various answers to the question, “What is your biggest fear of growing old?” Most common answers to this include: taking seriously ill, loneliness once our significant other has passed, taking care of elderly relatives, a sense of declining attractiveness, lack of retirement finances, and fears around menopausal changes for women and loss of virility in men.
While all of these are very valid reasons, there are also many advantages to growing old.
1. We Have Much Clearer Priorities
As we age and experience new things, we come to a realization of what matters — and what doesn’t. Throughout our lives we tend to worry and stress about things that are essentially out of our control or things that we have no pull on the outcome of. As we grow older, we are able to differentiate our needs from our wants while focusing on the matters and goals in our lives that are relevant.
2. We Don’t Care As Much What Others Think
The biggest regret that most of us are going to leave this world with is the fact that we cared so much about what others thought. As we come to understand what we can do and what is important to us, we are less likely to succumb to the negativity of others. It is when we realize that others’ judgment isn’t fatal that we will finally be able to start taking the chances and risks that we’ve held back from.
3. It’s Easier to Manage Our Emotions
As our tolerance increases — and the amount that we care what others think decreases — we are able to personally focus less on the negativity surrounding us. We realize how little the opinions of others really affect us, and are able to transform the anger and sadness that we receive into motivational thoughts. By using the negativity of others and pushing our own determination, we are able to successfully achieve our personal goals and aspirations. By doing so, you are controlling your emotions, and using them beneficially.
4. Headaches Are Fewer and Further Between
Those of us who are chronic migraine sufferers have something to look forward to in old age! Dr. Carl Dahlof, founder of the Gothenburg Migraine Clinic in Gothenburg, analyzed 374 migraine patients. Dr. Dahlof followed up with these individuals over the course of 12 years, from 1994 to 2006. At the start of the study all patients claimed to suffer from one to six migraines a month. When Dr. Dahlof followed up with the patients in 2006, at least 30% of them had not experienced a migraine within the last two years. While the rest had experienced at least one migraine, the results were astonishing:
80% reported fewer migraines
55% reported significantly less duration of migraines
66% reported that the pain intensity had decreased
Only 1% reported their migraines becoming more frequent.
5. We Have Higher Sense of Self-Worth
We experience and grow as we continue to age, realizing exactly what we are capable of. As a result, we aren’t going to sell ourselves short anymore, or set boundaries based on what we think we can do. At this point in time we have proven over and over that we can do it, and that there isn’t a better way to learn than by failing. We are not going to make choices based on what others think, or may think. We base our choices on what we can do, or are interested in achieving.
6. We Can Learn From Our Children and Grandchildren
As we get to a certain age, we tend to feel like we have learned and obtained all the information that we will need. But as our world continues to grow and develop, we may find ourselves falling behind. The truth is, you will continue to learn from the generations that come after you. Our children and grandchildren, who have grown up in this new world, will have the capability to assist us and fill in any information gaps. We will have taught these individuals the necessities of living, and the skills required to survive, now they will assist us to do the same.
As you can see, growing older is not a choice that we have in life. It is going to happen whether we brace for it or not. All we can do is focus on the benefits of getting older, and remain positive.