Midlife cognitive development can lead to healthy and successful aging
Science is learning more and more every day about the importance of midlife cognitive development.
In 1922, only 1.4% of Americans were 75 years or older. At the time G. Stanley Hall, first president of the American Psychological Association, was 78 years old. He said, "For myself, I frankly confess that the longer I live the more I want to keep doing so."
I couldn't agree with him more as I approach my mid-sixties. According to a study conducted by Dr. William Sadler, we will live an average of thirty years longer than our forebears of 1900. Today, as Third agers we have a 30-year life bonus. We have the opportunity to participate in the “The live-longer jackpot” and take full advantage of midlife (see Keith Robertson's article) cognitive development opportunities.
Sadler refers to this as our “30-year life bonus” and uses “The Third Age” to signify a new period of life not possible for previous generations. People in this age group have the opportunity to age successfully.
What are some ways that can contribute to successful and aging?
In Dr. Frank's article on mental exercises, he points out that they can lead to having a healthy mind, being alert, having a sense of control and being productive. We can practice a number of brain exercises for a healthier mind.
According to Dr. Frank, doing creative thinking exercises is another way of leading a fulfilling and productive life. Recent research shows a clear link between developing creativity and having a joyful, enriching midlife and beyond. Two leading thinkers, Gene Cohen and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, show the importance of creativity and suggestions for developing it.
For Keith Robertson, medical writer, we all seek increased brain power. Connections between our brain cells are either strengthened or weakened as a way of storing information. This is part of the process of what we call learning. Choices we make can determine the quality of our life and its impact on others. But do the choices we make actually change our brain?
Keith Robertson delves into the issue of universal principles. Have you ever noticed how old people in a senior's residence seem to have gotten better and better over the years or have gotten more and more bitter during their lifetime? Find out more.
What to do next:
Check out the Happiness After Midlife Learning Center for my e-Book, Take Charge of Midlife and Beyond, and e-Courses on midlife development.
Happiness after midlife