Mental quality of life improves with age

A person's mental quality of life improves with age, new research has suggested. Led by Warwick Medical School at the University of Warwick, the study revealed growing older and putting on weight are not necessarily linked to a reduction in mental wellbeing.

The investigation showed that despite older people experiencing a decrease from a physical perspective, they feel their quality of life from a mental point of view improves.

Dr Saverio Stranges, leader of the study, described the findings as interesting, claiming older people may develop better coping abilities.

He observed younger individuals might lack the internal mechanisms needed in order to cope with negative circumstances and hardship.

"It could also be due to a lowering of expectations from life, with older people less likely to put pressure on themselves in the personal and professional spheres," the expert - who has also held the position of Assistant Professor in the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine in the School of Public Health at the State University of New York in Buffalo - went on to point out.

Professor Ian Stuart-Hamilton from the University of Glamorgan, a Chartered Psychologist, commented: "This is an interesting piece of research that puts a positive light on ageing, which is too often seen as being unremitting doom, gloom and decay."

I have had the opportunity to interact with older adults age 50-80 in my clinical practice.
As far as my understanding goes, many older adults have better coping skills because their life’s journey may have shown them a way to overcome the life’s challenges or difficulties on: health, financial or relationship related issues.

A lot depends on the perspective, style of thinking the elderly may have developed over the years. It is about nurturing a habit to live with a youthful spirit.

I was very inspired by this piece of information...‘In Japan a person’s 60th birthday is referred to as ‘kanreki’ (a return to the year of one’s birth). Based on the ancient Chinese lunar calendar, the end of one 60-year cycle-consisting of five cycles of the 12 year Chinese zodiac- makes a new birth or beginning’. (SGI publication)'.

This was very beautifully explained by the Japanese Buddhist philosopher, Dr Daisaku Ikeda, who is 84 years of age. He states that according to the Chinese lunar calendar, he is actually 24 in age. That is 84-60=24. This perspective of life revitalizes one with a very youthful spirit even if you are advancing in age…

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