How Aging Conspires to Make You Happier

By Ofer Zur, Ph.D.

“Except for the dying part, getting older is so fabulous, I love it…everybody I know is better older. They are more relaxed, they’re more mellow, they’re more alert as a friends, they have a confidence…You really do acquire a kind of ‘I don’t give a damn’ about what people think, which is so liberating. I love this age now.”
– Candice Bergen

Ms. Bergen is right: Older people are happier, more positive, have better emotional control and are less concerned about peer pressure.

Researchers agree – Here are the findings:
  • While rats develop 5,000 to 10,000 new hippocampal neurons every day, whether the neurons survive depends on whether the rats do challenging tasks (such as complex mazes or difficult discriminations).
  • Your brain improves nerve cell transmission with increased myelination though your fifties or sixties, and thus continues to develop.
  • In middle age, people start making more use of both sides of their brains (bilateralization).
  • With age, people tend to place less value on achievement and novelty and more value on relationships and experiences.
  • Air traffic controllers, aged 53-64, perform as well as controllers aged 20-27 (Canadian controllers had to be used for the research, as U.S. controllers are required to retire at 55).
  • Since 1984, disability rates, as measured by the ability to perform activities of daily living, have been declining 1.5% to 2.5% a year. Thus, seniors are staying healthier longer.

We offer two online courses on Aging:

Aging, Long-term Care, and Positive Psychology, 3 CE Credit Hours
Aging and Positive Psychology, 10 CE Credit Hours, Course is composed of 8 exciting Audio presentations (MP3’s) & Text

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