I confess, I haven’t read Dr. Becca Levy’s book “Breaking the Age Code” yet, but in the article “You Can Change Your Views of Aging and Improve Your Life" by Judith Graham struck me. Another reason people may be "Tom Brady-ing” (aka Un-retiring, my post from a few weeks ago) is that they don’t want to be viewed as “old”.
As Graham indicates in her article, our view of aging has a profound impact on our health - everything from memory, how well we walk, how we recover from illness, and how long we live. If we view aging negatively, we engage in less healthy behaviors. When we view aging in a positive way, we are more active and resilient and our will to live is greater.
In Graham’s interview of Levy, she asked about Levy encouraging “people to challenge negative age beliefs in public.” I loved what Levy had to say about the misconception that older people don’t contribute to society.
It took me right back to leaving your job with a paycheck to take a job without a paycheck. She indicated that research shows that older adults are more philanthropic, more altruistic, do work (with or without a paycheck) in positions that make a difference – help create a better world for generations to come.
If “research shows that people with positive age beliefs live a median 7.5 years longer than those with negative beliefs,” I vote for having positive age beliefs.
How about you?