American society values beauty and youth. It’s a fact of life. Look at any movie—Hollywood or independent, it doesn’t matter—magazine (aside from AARP), or television show (Golden Girls went off the air a long time ago, people) and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a gray hair or wrinkled brow among them. And the portrayals you do see of older people are often hackneyed stereotypes of asexual, grouchy killjoys or someone having a midlife crisis.
Change the script about getting older
“Let’s change the conversation about what getting older means,” says women’s health expert Dr. Christiane Northrup in her book Goddesses Never Age: The Secret Prescription for Radiance, Vitality, and Well-Being. “Our culture tries to tell us how to move through time and tell us we only have so much time left,” she writes. She suggests rewriting the script by realizing chronological age just measures time, and by calling it getting older, not aging.“Getting older is inevitable, but aging is optional,” she writes.
Let’s look at how we can challenge what we are told about age in our culture to have a more positive mindset about getting older.
1. Stop calling it a midlife crisis
We should probably save the word “crisis” for the real deal and not for another pass around the sun. Plus, the bulk of research shows that there may be a shifting of gears in the 40s or 50s, but it’s often one of renewal and exhilaration, not crisis, writes Barbara Bradley Hagerty in her book Life Reimagined: The Science, Art, and Opportunity of Midlife.
Read the rest of my article: 8 Ways to Thrive in Midlife and Beyond on Live Happy.