It’s true that life can throw a lot of challenges at you as you grow older, and health problems may increasingly become an issue. Chronic symptoms can affect day-to-day living. Friends can pass away. Things may be a little stressful financially as you learn to live with less income. But, in spite of all this, seniors are managing to feel positive about themselves and their lives.
Many seniors continue to be employed in their communities through volunteer work. These seniors seem to find working as a volunteer liberating. They are often treated well and appreciated and are usually involved in something that has a direct benefit to the community.
And, of course, when it comes to sex, seniors continue to be active and enjoy passionate relationships with their partners. Many seniors find themselves embarking on new relationships later in life, in fact, which are full and rewarding experiences.
Seniors also seem to be quite accepting of the natural aging process of the body. Many keep active and embrace their extra wrinkles and graying hair with equanimity.
So, if you are in the process of aging — as we all are — there might be a lot more to look forward to than you realize. With age come a certain wisdom and ability to enjoy the here and now for what it is. Seniors often take the time to attend religious services regularly, engage in social activities, and visit with neighbors and friends.
As you grow older, you might find that you are better able to appreciate what you have going for you, rather than what you don’t. It seems that seniors also have the ability to look at other people and realize that their own lot in life is not so bad at all.
And this is true even for those who have missed out on schooling and the pursuit of higher education. For those able to live with positive factors in their lives, such as meaningful relationships with others and a sense of purpose, the negative health impacts of having less schooling can be erased.
There are many studies that point to the link between lack of education, poor health and an earlier death. But researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have found that peace of mind could reduce these risks.
A research team measured levels of the inflammatory protein interleukin-6 (IL-6) in participants in the Survey of Midlife in the United States — a long-term study of age-related differences in physical and mental health. High levels of IL-6 have been associated with cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and some cancers.
The researchers found that people whose education stopped with a high-school diploma or less, but who had high scores on measures of general happiness or self-acceptance, had IL-6 levels that were comparable to similarly satisfied, but highly educated people.