I came across an article this morning that sparked my interest. In a society where aging is not looked upon favorably, there is some good news for those weary of getting older. According to a study done at University of California, Berkeley, people really do grow wiser as they grow older.
The study, which tested 144 people in their 20s, 40s and 60s, found that older people are better than younger people at seeing the positive side of stressful situations. They were able to do so using a mechanism called positive reappraisal, which relies on life experience and lessons learned. Their ability to use this mechanism actually gives them an advantage in the workplace and in personal relationships.
“Evolution seems to have tuned our nervous system in ways that are optimal for these kinds of interpersonal and compassionate activities as we age,” study team leader and psychologist Robert Levenson said in a UC Berkeley news release. Situations and experiences that generate positive responses serve to enhance the quality of life for the elderly and only contribute to their emotional intelligence as they grow older.