“Why You Should Never Fear Getting Older” is a collaborative post. Please see the disclosure page for more information. Disclaimer – always verify medical information with your doctor or a professional.
Aging isn’t something that we spend a great deal of time discussing in our society. While we all know its there, getting older is happening in the background every day, but we don’t like to focus on it. Some see it as an unpleasant side effect of having a body and something to avoid.
The truth, however, is usually different from the myths around aging. Here are some of the reasons you shouldn’t fear getting older.
“Empty Nest Syndrome” Is A Red Herring
If you’re looking after kids right now, you may worry about what you’ll do with your time when they’re gone. The fear is that you’ll experience “empty nest syndrome,” a condition where you feel depressed, disconnected, and without purpose in your life.
The good news is that the concept is mostly a misnomer. Studies reveal that life satisfaction tends to rise for parents when their kids leave home, with empty nest syndrome being a rare affliction that affects only a small number of people.
You Could Be A Part Of A Better Community
People who worry about getting older are often concerned that they’ll have to live in a nursing home for the rest of their lives. While some people who require around-the-clock care do need residential care, it is not the norm and generally toward the very end of life. Most people, instead, choose to live in communities with other people in a similar predicament. Assisted living facilities include things like transportation services, meal preparation and delivery, and cleaning services.
Those are not the only benefits of assisted living. For lonely people, these communities provide social interactions and relationships too. They generally have activities you can participate in and group dining you can be part of. Because of this, you don’t have to be alone if you don’t want to.
You Probably Won’t Experience A Mid-Life Crisis
The concept of a mid-life crisis is profoundly entrenched in our society. Many people imagine that by the time they get to forty or fifty, they’ll look back on their lives, regret how they’ve spent their time, and do something stupid like buying a sports car, getting tattoos, getting piercings all over.
The truth is that most people don’t usually reach crisis levels. While they can sometimes regret the mistakes that they made when they were younger, that doesn’t always translate into destructive behavior. More often than not, it is an incentive to change and improve one’s life. At this age, most people finally have enough money to have a sports car they’ve always dreamed about or have the confidence to make choices about their own body that for years they had worried about what others thought verses what they wanted all along.
You Won’t Automatically Feel Depressed As You Get Older
When you’re young, you’re free to do what you want. As you get older, there’s less and less you can do because of responsibilities and physical ailments, limiting your life chances and making you feel depressed – or at least, that’s how the thinking goes. In reality, it’s usually the opposite. When you’re young, you don’t have the same sense of self or perspective. You’re less in touch with what you like about life, and you’re more prone to social pressures and money concerns. As you get older, however, your income rises, your wealth goes up, and you actually end up much more free than you were in your youth.
Of course, there may be times when you feel depressed, but it certainly is not guaranteed. There’s no reason to see it as inevitable. Getting older can be freeing in so many ways. Plus, it beats the alternative!