This month we’re thinking a lot about confidence, and how we can boost confidence throughout our lives. We live in a culture that over-values youth, which makes it hard to keep a healthy perspective on aging. And that’s unfortunate, because aging happens to all of us. Aging comes with all sorts of external and internal signifiers, and while some of these signifiers may make us uncomfortable, there are plenty of positives, as well.
1. Self-esteem increases as you age.
Or at least it does until about age 60, which is where it tends to peak, according to multiple studies. As we age, we learn who we are and how we fit in the overall scheme of things. This in turn leads to growing self-esteem.
Even after 60, self-esteem declines from an all-time high, which means you’re not likely to ever find yourself back in that place of utter confusion and rudderless identity-seeking that you waded through in your early-20s (when self-esteem is at an all-time low).
2. Appearance matters less.
According to studies, how we feel about our appearance is an important marker of our overall self-esteem, and this measurement matters to us throughout our lives. But as we age, it matters less. Other factors, such as the strength of our social relationships and how well we feel we fit in our communities, began to matter more.
3. Anti-aging science is rapidly improving.
If external signs of aging are affecting your confidence, there are many less invasive and affordable solutions than there were a generation ago. In addition to botox and other neurotoxins that lessen wrinkles, treatments such as dermafillers, Kybella (for chin augmentation), PRP facials, enzyme facials, micro-current face lifts, and radio frequency skin treatment are safer and much more affordable than more conventional options such as plastic surgery. (Want to learn more? We’d love to schedule a face-to-face consultation with you!)
4. Certain brain functions improve with age.
Studies have shown that our vocabularies increase, our inductive reasoning skills sharpen, and our problem-solving skills increase as we age. The latter is because we are more apt to focus on the positive rather than the negative, and therefore, more naturally inclined to be solution-oriented.
5. Self-control increases with age.
The part of our brain that handles self-control doesn’t fully developed until our mid-20s. Then it takes us awhile to learn how to effectively use our new power. The takeaway? As we age, we learn to better control our tempers, our tongues, and our impulses, which can lead to healthier choices and better relationships. We’re less competitive and better at compromise. Overall, our personalities become more stable.
6. We can lead healthy lives longer.
Just as there have been loads of improvements in anti-aging aesthetics, there have been loads of improvements in healthcare. These days, we can recognize and prevent chronic disease earlier and in some cases, prevent it altogether. There are people running marathons and breaking records in their 80’s and 90’s. As long as we keep moving and eating well, age is more of a characteristic, rather than a qualifier.
7. Sex gets better.
Multiple studies indicate that both women and men enjoy sex more in their 4’s than in their 20s. A 2011 OkCupid survey found that 40% of women in their early-20s have difficulty reaching orgasm. By their 40s, that number drops to 20%. A Health Plus study found that women over 45 are more adventurous in bed. Best of all, according to a University of Manchester study, 90% of men and women over 79 say they are satisfied with their sex lives.
8. We worry less about what others think of us.
Which means we stress out a lot less over factors we can’t control.