Saturday, December 10, 2022

What Can You Do About Ageism? Play By Your Own Rules

Photo by Vlad Sargu on Unsplash

Take charge and do things that create wellbeing regardless of your age.

While minding my own business, reading a book review on-line, up pops an ad, “Finally, A Great Lipstick For The Mature Woman.” Later, on a weather app, “Trendy Dresses for Older Women.” Google, as always, was minding my business.

It’s not just the internet pointing out your age, it’s other people. From the physician telling you after a fall that hiking is something to reconsider, to the endless griping about the gerontocracy in our government, people tell us we’re old and there’s stuff we just shouldn’t be doing anymore.

These rules about the dos and don’ts of aging have effects. Ageism abounds and so does its negative impact on your health. It can literally shorten your life.

If you believe the ageism messages saying you can no longer do certain things and be a meaningful member of society, it’s the self-fulfilling prophecy on steroids. The self-fulfilling prophecy is the idea that when you think something is going to happen, then it’s pretty easy to alter your behavior to align with that belief—Oh, I’m too old to learn a language? No point trying to learn Italian.

In fact, research has shown that, as we age, we tend to experience higher levels of wellbeing, greater satisfaction with life and even more emotional stability.  

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