Getting Older Is Getting Better!

There’s excellent news for America’s largest generation! Just as tens of millions of Baby Boomers move into their golden years, new research reveals that your latest years may be your happiest. Could it be that youth really is wasted on the young? Young people usually enjoy high energy, peak physical condition, and that shiny optimism of starting fresh in life. But are they as happy as their parents and grandparents? A study from the University of Chicago shows that people are feeling happier and happier as they age.

Since 1972, researchers have been asking a cross section of Americans the same question: “…How would you say things are these days—would you say that you are very happy, pretty happy, or not too happy?” Results show that feelings of happiness increase over time. The percentage of people who reported being “very happy” grew along with their advancing age. The University of Chicago survey is one of the most comprehensive studies of happiness ever done in America, and the findings should contribute even more to your happiness quotient. Looking forward to more contentment, satisfaction, and joy can really lighten our steps into the future!

I’m a living example of this principle. My life has grown more fulfilling, more exciting, more rewarding year by year. As we age, we can continue to learn and grow and find ways to make a difference in the world that offer a very deep foundation for happiness. Each stage of life has its own blessings, and though we may lose a little speed with the passage of time, we pick up life skills, understanding, and knowledge that give us more compassion for others and ourselves. We learn to forgive and accept ourselves for the magnificent beings we are. The pleasure we can experience once we allow it is truly incredible!

Getting older is inevitable. But aging is not. If you want to be happier and happier as you age, there’s nothing stopping you.

Forget Your Chronologic Age

Chronologic age is a fairly meaningless number after the age of 30. It’s your biologic age that counts. People who understand how life energy works in the body often have biologic ages that are 20 years younger—or more—than their chronologic ages. My 85-year-old mother is a good example. In May of 2010, she hiked to Mt. Everest Base Camp (18,000 feet high) with hikers half her age. My nearly 60-year-old sister and her husband went along on the trip. She takes no medications whatsoever, instead using nutritional supplements daily. It’s very clear that my mother’s biologic age is far younger than her chronologic age of 85.

The opposite is also true. I routinely see 35-year-olds who look, act, and talk like people far older than them. They tend to hang out with friends and family members who talk the same talk and walk the same slow walk. When I meet such a person, I can practically see them age before my eyes. Although their words, thoughts, and actions are all about deterioration, they don’t understand why their life force is ebbing away.

Note: You can calculate your biologic age by taking the Real Age Test [] by Michael Roizen, M.D. If you don’t like the number you get, it’s fairly easy to change it. That’s right—you can actually grow younger!

Aging Is Not Inevitable

Getting older is inevitable. Aging is not. The process of getting older begins the moment we are born—it actually begins the moment our life begins in the womb! We can’t stop that, but we can influence it dramatically.

Though we really don’t understand what aging is, I have some theories that have stood the test of time. Up until age 30 or so, the “springtime” energy within you is so strong that your body is very forgiving. But around age 30, your lifestyle, including what you eat, whether you exercise, the relationships you keep, and your thoughts and beliefs, catch up with you.

When health-robbing habits catch up with people at about the age of 30 or so, they say, “You see? It’s my age. That’s why this stuff is happening to me. It’s natural.” Nothing could be further from the truth. When you don’t take care of your body, including your mind, emotions, and spirit, it is forced to send you louder signals to get your attention. Headaches, low energy, dull skin, and joint aches and pains are just a few of the many messages your body sends when it needs better care.

Decreased muscle mass and increased fat may be normal in this culture, but these conditions are not necessarily natural—and we needn’t expect them. They are caused by inactivity and the cumulative effects of glycemic stress and insulin resistance, accompanied by a mind-set that expects us to grow weaker as we age. That mind-set is a belief, not scientific truth. I am actually more flexible and fit now than when I was in my twenties!

Get Conscious About Ageism

We live in a culture that is drenched with ageism. We automatically assume that someone is going to become depressed, fatigued, incontinent, asexual, forgetful, and senile. Pharmaceutical companies and gynecologists plant in women seeds of fear that as soon as they go through menopause, their bodies will simply fall apart and waste away unless they are on medication.

When my mother was in her sixties, and around the time she hiked the entire Appalachian Trail and skied around the base of Mount McKinley, her mailbox became suddenly full of ads for hearing aids, incontinence diapers, and aids for failing vision. Over time, my mother figured out how to ignore the constant barrage of negative messages about aging. She also told me that though she doesn’t feel much different than when she was thirty, she is definitely treated differently.

Though many people do decline as they get older, this decline is not a natural consequence of aging—it is a consequence of our collective beliefs about aging as well as our lifestyle.

No More Senior Moments

Do you ever say that you’ve just had a senior moment when you forget a name or a face? If you do, stop it. NOW. I’ve forgotten occasional names for my whole life. I’ll bet you have, too. We all forget things. This needn’t increase with age.

Many women, especially during perimenopause, complain of having a “cotton head.” They can’t seem to balance their checkbook. They forget where they’ve left things. They’re certain that they are experiencing the first stages of Alzheimer’s. This simply isn’t true. Most of the “fuzzy head” that women talk about at perimenopause isn’t aging at all. It’s your inner wisdom telling you it’s time for you to tune in to yourself, your dreams and desires. (For more information, read The Wisdom of Menopause, Chapter 10: Nurturing Your Brain.)

Move It or Lose It

There’s only one reason that you lose muscle mass or range of motion with age: You stop using your body. Period. Physical deterioration has very little to do with age per se. It has a lot to do with being sedentary. You wouldn’t expect your car to start on the first try and then run well if you left it sitting out in a field for five years, would you?
Those who exercise regularly can expect to add at least six to seven quality years to their lives. Besides, it’s really, really fun to be able to move. One of the gifts of the empty nest at midlife is the fact that I can exercise whenever I want to. I actually exercise more now than ever before and am in better shape than I ever have been. I dance Argentine Tango as often as I can, and also do Pilates and weight training regularly. I love to take long walks by the ocean, too.

Create a Happy Future

Engage in creative pursuits and schedule things you look forward to. I often meet very creative people whose minds are so engaged in their work that they’re saturated with life force directly from Source energy. This is one reason why composers such as 70-year-old John Williams seem timeless. Their creative process is Divinely inspired—they’re always being touched by the hand of God—and it rubs off on their physical body.

You don’t have to be a world-class composer to tap into Source energy. Prayer will do it. And so will dance or any other creative pursuit. The key is to open yourself up to be a channel for something new. It’s been said that the first step toward aging is when most of your thoughts are in the past. It’s essential to have something to look forward to and to set goals for the future.

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Remember, youth is a state of mind. You can be young at 90 and old at 15. You get to choose!

This information is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent any disease. 
All material in this article is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise, or other health program.

© Christiane Northrup, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. Excerpted with permission.

Christiane Northrup, M.D. is a visionary pioneer and beloved authority in the field of women’s health and wellness. A board-certified OB/GYN physician who graduated from Dartmouth Medical School and did her residency at Tufts New England Medical Center, Dr. Northrup was also an assistant clinical professor of OB/GYN at Maine Medical Center for 20 years. Recognizing the unity of body, mind, and spirit, Dr. Northrup helps empower women to tune into their innate inner wisdom to transform their health and truly flourish. Dr. Northrup is the author of two New York Times best-selling books, Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom and The Wisdom of Menopause. Her third book, Mother-Daughter Wisdom, was a 2005 Quill Award nominee and voted Amazon’s #1 book of the year in both parenting and mind-body health in 2005. In her latest books, The Secret Pleasures of Menopause and The Secret Pleasures of Menopause Playbook, Dr. Northrup outlines the crucial importance of sustainable pleasure as the missing link for creating joyous and vibrant health on all levels after menopause. She has also hosted seven highly successfully public television specials. Her most recent special began airing nationwide June 2010, and is based upon the newly revised edition of Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom. Her work has been featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show, the Today Show, NBC Nightly News, The View, the Rachael Ray Show, Good Morning America, ABC’s 20/20, and Dr. Oz. Through her weekly Hay House Radio show, Flourish!, her website , and her monthly e-letter, Women’s Health Wisdom, Dr. Northrup shares cutting-edge information about health and flourishing with women worldwide.

Christiane Northrup, M.D., is a visionary pioneer and a leading authority in the field of women's health and wellness, which includes the unity of mind, body, emotions, and spirit. Internationally known for her empowering approach to women's health and wellness, Dr. Northrup teaches women how to thrive at every stage of life.

A board-certified OB/GYN physician, Dr. Northrup graduated from Dartmouth Medical School and completed her residency at Tufts New England Medical Center in Boston. She was also an assistant clinical professor of OB/GYN at Maine Medical Center for 20 years.

Dr. Northrup knows that the key to vibrant health on all levels is within us—our inner wisdom. She says, "When we find the connection between our thoughts, beliefs, physical health, and life circumstances, we find that we are in the driver's seat of our lives and can make profound changes. Nothing is more exhilarating or empowering."

Dr. Northrup's work has been featured on Super Soul Sunday on OWN, The Oprah Winfrey Show, the Today Show, NBC Nightly News, The View, Rachael Ray, Good Morning America, 20/20, and The Dr. Oz Show. Women clearly trust Dr. Northrup’s approach. In 2013, Reader’s Digest named her one of "The 100 Most Trusted People in America." And, in 2016, she was named one of Oprah Winfrey’s Super Soul 100, a group of leaders who are using their voices and talent to awaken humanity.

Dr. Northrup has spent her life as an advocate for women's health and wellness, first as a practicing OB/GYN physician for 25 years and now as an internationally respected writer and speaker. Her books have been translated into 24 languages.

A multiple New York Times best-selling author, Dr. Northup's most recent book, Dodging Energy Vampires: An Empath's Guide To Evading Relationships That Drain You And Restoring Your Health And Power (Hay House, April 2018) was an immediate success. In it Dr. Northrup sheds light on the real reason so many people suffer from seemingly inexplicable health conditions. Based on her professional and person experiences, Dr. Northrup provides strategies for removing narcissists and other cluster b-types from your life, and how you can recover your health after a relationship with an energy vampire.

Dr. Northrup put her own personal truth on paper in 1994, with the first edition of Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom (Bantam, 1994). This groundbreaking classic quickly became a New York Times bestseller, and has been the veritable bible of women's health for nearly two decades. With its raw facts and intriguing case histories, Women’s Bodies, Women's Wisdom explains exactly how to "create physical and emotional health and healing."

Her second book, The Wisdom of Menopause (Bantam, 2001, 2006, 2012), has been embraced by women everywhere, including Oprah Winfrey, who sought Dr. Northrup's wisdom when she turned 50 and faced "The Big M." In this New York Times bestseller, Dr. Northrup once again challenged convention with inspiring insights—the "change" is not a collection of symptoms to be fixed, but a mind/body revolution, which brings tremendous opportunity for happiness.

Mother-Daughter Wisdom, Dr. Northrup’s third book (Bantam, 2005), was voted Amazon's #1 book of the year in both parenting and mind/body health, and was also nominated for a Quill Award.

In The Secret Pleasures of Menopause (Hay House, 2008) and The Secret Pleasures of Menopause Playbook (Hay House, 2009), Dr. Northrup outlines the crucial link between health and pleasure.

Beautiful Girl, (Hay House, 2013) Dr. Northrup's children's book, brings her positive message to the youngest of girls.

In Goddesses Never Age: The Secret Prescription for Radiance, Vitality and Wellbeing (Hay House, February 2015), which quickly became a New York Times bestseller, Dr. Northrup inspires women (and men) with an entirely different mindset about what it means to grow older.

In her book, Making Life Easy: A Simple Guide to A Divinely Inspired Life (Hay House, 2016) Dr. Northrup shares the essential truth that has guided her since medical school, and advises her readers how to make their lives truly easy.

Dr. Northrup has also hosted eight highly successful public-television specials, beginning in 1998. Her latest was based on her book, Goddesses Never Age, and first aired nationwide in February 2015.

Dr. Northrup also founded Amata Life, a company that manufactures and distributes a product line featuring the Pueraria mirifica plant, a traditional medicine used by Thai women for 700 years. These health and beauty products help alleviate the symptoms of menopause, so women can truly thrive in the wisdom of this uniquely female life stage.

As a business owner, physician, former surgeon, mother, writer, and speaker, Dr. Northrup acknowledges our individual and collective capacity for growth, freedom, joy, and balance. When she’s not traveling and teaching, Dr. Northrup loves devoting her leisure time to dancing Argentine Tango, playing the harp, going to the movies, staying fit, getting together with her daughters and friends, boating, and reading.

Dr. Northrup stays in touch with her large and growing tribe worldwide through her Internet radio show Flourish!, e-Newsletter, and her website