Sunday, July 08, 2007

Older, Wiser, Happier: Good News for Seniors

"Brain scans now prove that as we age, we become increasingly optimistic." In a study from the University of Colorado Springs in which people were shown a series of unpleasant and cheerful images, "people over age 55 paid equal attention to both, while adults under age 25 focused more intently on gloomier shots."

According to the study's coauthor, Stacey Wood, PhD, "Being alert to negative information when we're young may help us survive. But as years go on and you make it through life's hardships, you gain the freedom to relax, expect good things, and fret less about bad ones."

Perhaps this explains why few seniors flock to horror movies as younger people do. I've met a few senior "worry warts," but for the most part, I agree: we've gained the freedom to relax, expect good things, and fret less. Despite its challenges, aging has its benefits as well.

Source: "Older, Wiser--and a Whole Lot Happier," by Amanda MacMillan in Prevention, August 2007.

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