As reported on MSN.com, church minister Lydia Sohn interviewed congregants who were in their 90s on what they’ve learned during their many years alive. Here within lies the key takeaways.
- Their biggest regret? Relationships that haven’t worked out positively, whether they were between siblings, significant others, friends, or parents with their children.
- Their biggest fear? They weren’t scared of death, but rather the process of “dying” and their deteriorating health.
- Their greatest joy? Being with family.
- Their joys and regrets have nothing to do with their careers, but with their parents, siblings, children, spouses, and friends.
Researchers have discovered consistent findings on happiness and well-being around the world.
Happiness, pleasure, and enjoyment are most tenuous during the middle ages of life, starting in our 20s with depression peaking at 46, thanks to too many demands. The happiness of youth returns and was experienced at higher levels in subjects’ 70s, thanks to more self-acceptance, time, less ambitions, and being more mindful of living in the present moment.
Those who were valued for their good looks or athleticism in their youth experienced more grief in regards to their current bodies than those who derived confidence from qualities that were less time-fixed. The ones who experienced greater negative emotions about aging said the peak of that grief occurred in their 70s and diminished in their 80s.
And most wonderfully, the elderly have not lost their vibrancy and thirst for life. They still laugh like crazy, fall in love like mad, and pursue happiness fiercely.
WHAT CAN I DO? Embrace aging. True, you won’t look like you did in your 20s, but more self-acceptance and time, being more mindful of living in the present moment, laughing like crazy, falling madly in love, and pursuing happiness fiercely sound pretty good to me.