“You’re as old as you feel.” “You’re as old as you think you are.” The old adages have a ring of truth because how we think about ourselves and our origin does indeed impact health and vigor. So whether you workout with popular “Y” programs like Silver Sneakers here in Indiana or feel more comfortable in a rocking chair, your views of yourself and your beliefs about aging impact your well-being. My colleague. Eric Nelson, writing for the December 29, 2016 edition of Communities Digital News, shares an inspiring story of a woman’s triumph over one insidious belief about aging. Read on and get some New Year inspiration! Here’s Eric:
A few years back, former Obama administration advisor and bioethicist Ezekiel Emanuel insisted he would rather not stick around until he reaches what most consider to be a ripe old age. “Seventy-five years is all I want to live,” he wrote in a widely circulated essay published in The Atlantic. “I want to celebrate my life while I am still in my prime.”
As Emanuel sees it, “living too long… robs us of our creativity and ability to contribute to work, society, the world. It transforms how people experience us, relate to us, and, most important, remember us. We are no longer remembered as vibrant and engaged but as feeble, ineffectual, even pathetic.”
According to the Wall Street Journal, however, we would do well to challenge such bleak and self-defeating assumptions.
In her article “Why everything you think about aging may be wrong,” reporter Anne Tergesen draws on a number of studies to illustrate why, for instance, depression and loneliness are not more common in old people, cognitive decline is not inevitable, older workers are not less productive, and creative ability does not necessarily deteriorate – and may actually improve – over time. “In many ways,” she writes, “life gets better as we get older.”
How is it, though, that Tergesen’s assessment does not appear to match up with what we see day in and day out?….