Aging and Social Norms
In our world we function on the measurement of time — aging is the term we have assigned to our own connection with time. Aging trends and established expectations of getting older have been defined and shaped over centuries of human experience and scientific observation. These social norms are a part of living today and most people live life with these expectations lingering at the back of their minds. However, as time goes on there seems to be improvements and exceptions to these aging trends.
Imagine now that are all the exceptions to the aging expectations — given the freedom to age as we like, wouldn’t we want more than just a long life? Wouldn’t we want quality of life? This is not as far from reality as it may sometimes seem. We have the tools to assist us in taking an improved approach to aging! As human beings, awareness is one of our most powerful tools. Along with being aware, another part of human nature that can help improve aging is our relationships and interactions with each other!
Let’s Be Honest
Unfortunately one of the biggest mistakes we can make is to ignore these powerful tools we have been given as we age. Being aware of our relationship with time may only kick in when we are already well along the path and the momentum may be carrying us passively through well-defined social expectations. The aches and pains and the hearing loss may have already set in by the time we realize aging is something we should be mindful of. Often, by the time we realize we want quality aging it may feel like it is “too late.”
Never fear, it is never too late. We still have so much on our side — studies have shown that there is something powerful to fight the physical and mental conditions that go along with aging. What is it? Human interaction.
Listen Up and Embrace Sociality
Minimal interaction with people creates social isolation — end of story. It manifests itself physically. If someone lives alone, rarely leaves the house, or shies away from talking and listening with others, that person may go days without speaking to another soul. Most people don’t actively choose to live in social isolation, and may feel lonely if they did. But as we age life throws us curveballs and uninvited illness, disability, a change of residence, or death of loved ones may put socially inclined individuals in positions of sudden isolation.
This isolation can lead to loneliness. While social isolation is limited to our interactions with other people, loneliness is a state of painful personal emotion. Loneliness is not depression, but it can lead to depression, which puts our personal quality aging goals at risk.
So when these curveballs are thrown and the unexpected events lead to isolation, we must fight for our sociality. Retreating into isolation is never the answer — we need to use the tools we have been given to remain aware of age, stay interactive, and continue to be social beings. Studies have shown that sociality, listening and remaining interactive can defend us against many trials of aging such as:
- Losing self-esteem
- Lack of motivation to eat well and exercise
- Losing a sense of purpose and/or feelings of belonging
- Developing brain health issues such as Depression or Dementia
Sociality not only defends from the harder parts of aging but also contributes to positive changes such as:
- Improving physical health
- Promoting faster recovery from illness and injury
- Elevating mood
- Increasing self-awareness
- Providing inspiration
- Helping us live longer, healthier lives
Do not wait to get your hearing health in order — your sociality depends on it! Do not let yourself slip into social isolation, schedule a free evaluation with us today and take charge of your life!