TURNING AWAY FROM THE MIRROR is another way of TURNING THE CORNER and is the third article. I address the changes we go through physically and mentally as we age. The way we look at ourselves and those changes are relevant to our later years being satisfying and comfortable. I, myself, have a great sense of humor and enjoy the changes. Sure would we all love to find the fountain of youth but is it better to have a good outlook and make appropriate changes to accommodate the inevitable. I wrote the following on FaceBook this morning.
Wednesday Morning Thought: Youthful beauty will pass for even the most beautiful. May it be replaced with maturity, elegance and grace. These features are what we admire when we see an older beautiful person. Each scar or wrinkle has a story behind it and is the book cover for each of our lives. If we take time to “read” those stories and cherish our life adventures, the inner beauty glows from within. Have you been talking to a senior and it seems when a funny episode is told the youth surfaces and the face looks young again? I don’t fault anyone who has surgery or botox as that is a personal decision but the most beautiful, wisest, and interesting people have character lines. Stay young at heart and the world will love our faces.
Older people tend to be happier than younger people, and their happiness increases with age, a study in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry reports.
Researchers contacted 1,546 people ages 21 to 99 via random telephone calls and found that older age was, not surprisingly, tied to declines in physical and cognitive function. But it was also associated with higher levels of overall satisfaction, happiness and well-being, and lower levels of anxiety, depression and stress. The older the person, the study found, the better his or her mental health tended to be.
The researchers used well-validated scales to assess mental health, although the study relied on self-reports and was a snapshot in time that did not follow an individual through a lifetime. Other studies have found similar results linking advancing age and higher levels of happiness.
The reasons for the effect remain unclear, but the senior author, Dr. Dilip V. Jeste, a professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego, had some suggestions.
“Brain studies show that the amygdala in older people responds less to stressful or negative images than in a younger person,” he said. “We become wise. Peer pressure loses its sting. Better decision-making, more control of emotions, doing things that are not just for yourself, knowing oneself better, being more studious and yet more decisive.
“This is good news for young people, too,” he added. “You have something to look forward to.”
Blogger’s side note: I have a favorite memory that keeps me in tow about aging. My great aunt Alice was beautiful even being a deaf mute. Her skin was similar to porcelain and I never noticed if she had wrinkles but I readily could see her eyes had twinkles. She smiled and while she gave it her all to be vocal, especially when telling me she loved me, I only saw elegance, beauty, and grace. We communicated with touches, hugs, and eyes. She loved people and life and lived each moment to the fullest. May life grant all of us the wonderment Alice saw and lived without a lot of spoken words….Arline Miller
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