Life After 40 Can Be The Best Right Now

You made it to 40.

After 40, pretending you’re 25 is a recipe for disaster. However, living with the soul of youth and the wisdom of age is genius.

If Your Mind Is Still In Your Mid-20s, Then, Yes, Your Life Is Pretty Much Over After 40

When we were in our 20s, even early 30s, our bodies were generally filled with an endless reservoir of energy. A full day of work, a night of activities followed by a few hours of sleep, and we could do it all over again with little consequence.

Hit your late 30s, entering your 40s, and suddenly, that go-go, crash and sleep, go-go pattern stutters.  Fatigue and fogginess just seem to linger. Changes are afoot and many of them are physical. Yet, for a large percentage, the mind continues to want to function like we are 10+ years younger.

Eventually, a realization hits. Age has come upon us and, at first, it sucks.

Another significant number of people fall into a familiar trap. They ponder on the past, often yearning for the “good times” of an era gone, or regret not doing the things they wanted. This particular state of being is commonly referred to as a Midlife Crisis

If one remains in a Midlife Crisis, then yes, life is pretty much over. There is no going back. Not really.

The Body Is Paying The Price Of Your Past, And Getting Hammered By Age

The days hit harder than they used to.

After the age of 40, individuals may be more susceptible to certain health problems due to lifestyle factors and the onset of age. BestLife describes 40 ways the body changes after 40. While there is no definitive list of health conditions, some common problems tend to be the following.

Cardiovascular Disease: The risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and other cardiovascular conditions increases with age. 

Type 2 Diabetes: Age increases the likelihood of developing Type 2 Diabetes in association with poor diet, low activity, and obesity. 

Arthritis: Various forms of arthritis, such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, become more common as we age. 

Osteoporosis: Aging increases the risk of osteoporosis, a condition characterized by weakened bones, making them more prone to fractures. Smoking, heavy drinking, and low physical activity have also been linked to this condition.

Cancer: The risk of certain cancers, such as breast, colorectal, prostate, and lung cancer, tends to increase after the age of 40. 

Vision and Hearing Changes: Age-related changes in vision, such as presbyopia (difficulty focusing on close objects) and age-related macular degeneration, become more prevalent after 40. Additionally, hearing loss, particularly high-frequency hearing loss, has been known to happen. 

Menopause: These hormonal changes can lead to symptoms like hot flashes, mood swings, sleep disturbances, and changes in bone density. 

While not every condition listed is directly related, years of eating sugar, excessive alcohol, smoking, little to no exercise, stress, and more, takes its toll. Granted, some things like arthritis, deteriorating eyesight, menopause, and so forth, are less likely, if not at all, linked to lifestyle choices. 

Nonetheless, it’s pretty clear that past actions, without pause or time to adequately recover, are more noticeable as we age.

As The Body Grows Older, The Mind Vainly Tries To Hold Onto The Past

Desperately clinging onto the past.

It’s been found that individuals may also experience psychological and mental challenges after the age of 40. The American Psychological Association, including the World Health Organization have documented a number of those internal difficulties. Here are some common psychological problems that can occur.

Depression

While depression can affect any age, it can become more common in middle age and beyond.

Factors such as life changes, hormonal shifts, chronic health conditions, and personal or professional stressors can contribute to the development of depression. Symptoms may include persistent sadness, loss of interest or pleasure, changes in appetite or sleep patterns, decreased energy, and difficulty concentrating. 

Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders, such as generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and social anxiety disorder, can arise or become more pronounced after 40. These conditions involve excessive worry and fear that interfere with daily functioning. 

Cognitive Changes

Age-related cognitive changes, including mild cognitive impairment and age-related memory decline, can cause concern and distress. 

Stress and Burnout

Chronic stress and burnout can result in emotional exhaustion, decreased productivity, and impaired well-being. 

Empty Nest Syndrome

When children leave home to pursue their own lives, some parents may experience feelings of sadness, loss, and a sense of purposelessness. 

Midlife Crisis

Some people may go through feelings of dissatisfaction, questioning of life choices, and a desire for change. This can manifest as impulsiveness, changes in relationships, or pursuing new hobbies or careers. 

Substance Abuse

Substance abuse and addiction can affect any age, but it can become a particular problem in midlife due to various factors such as stress, life changes, and the presence of chronic health conditions. 

There are more psychological conditions affecting people over 40 than what’s listed above. Regardless, it gives you a good idea of what many tend to struggle with. 

A Huge Number Of Young People Are Miserable

Being young in modern times is filled with nearly as many challenges as those over 40.

In today’s fast-paced and interconnected world, it’s becoming increasingly evident younger people are facing a multitude of challenges that impact their satisfaction of life. Ironically, while we over 40 have our own problems, it seems youth isn’t what it was.

The Discovery Mood & Anxiety Program details how teens are affected by today’s environment. Despite the conveniences and opportunities offered by modern society, an alarming number of young individuals are experiencing unhappiness, stress, and health problems. 

One of the primary reasons for the unhappiness and stress plaguing young people is the immense pressure to succeed. This relentless pursuit of perfection can lead to anxiety, self-doubt, and a constant fear of failure.

The rise of social media has brought both benefits and drawbacks. While it facilitates connectivity and access to information, it also perpetuates a culture of comparison and self-doubt. Young people are constantly exposed to carefully curated highlight reels of others’ lives, which can lead to feelings of inadequacy, jealousy, and diminished self-esteem. 

The pursuit of education and academic excellence pressures many to excel in exams, juggle multiple commitments, and meet high expectations from parents and teachers. It often results in chronic stress and burnout, including sleep deprivation, anxiety disorders, and even depression.

Rising costs of education, a competitive job market, and the burden of student loans have contributed to financial worries and instability. The constant fear of being unable to secure stable employment or meet financial obligations adds to the overall stress and unhappiness experienced by those in their mid-20s.

The digital age has also brought about a sedentary lifestyle. Many young people spend significant amounts of time on their phones, tablets, and computers. Lack of physical activity, poor dietary habits, and inadequate sleep patterns have led to a rise in health problems such as obesity, cardiovascular diseases, and mental health issues.

For further insight, the Harvard Gazette published an outstanding interview with Tyler VanderWeele, the Director of the Human Flourishing Program at Harvard’s Institute for Quantitative Social Science.

Younger Individuals Benefit From Strong Bodies, Whereas Those Over 40 Benefit From Wisdom

Wisdom is among the most important attributes.

“Wisdom is the right use of knowledge,” Charles Spurgeon

Interestingly, you’ll notice that many of the difficulties the youth of today suffer from, the men and women who are over 40 do as well. However, those who are 10+ years younger benefit from bodies closer to pristine condition. Their advantage is essentially access to energy and momentum. 

While the bodies of those over 40 are no longer in peak condition and far more susceptible to rapid decline, our age group benefits from wisdom.

With a wealth of life experiences and surviving countless challenges, age has set the stage for digested knowledge. This accumulated wisdom is not only a resource, it also brings self-confidence and a deeper understanding of life. This far outshines any supremely fit, youthful body.

Wisdom is supremely more advantageous than the sheer strength of a youthful body.

If You Want To Accomplish Something, Life After 40 Is The Best Time

Success increases greatly after 40.

Success is a multifaceted concept, but one thing is certain: age can bring a wealth of advantages when it comes to achieving success. While success can be attained at any age, individuals over 40 possess a unique set of qualities and experiences that often contribute to their accomplishments.

Forbes published an article referencing an MIT study that discovered the average company startup founder is over 45 years old. The author also continues to explain how the likelihood of success increases over the age of 40.

Here are a few reasons why.

Experience and Expertise

With years of navigating challenges, overcoming obstacles, and learning from successes and failures, people over 40 have developed a level of expertise that cannot be acquired overnight. This wealth of experience allows for better-informed decisions and practical knowledge of complex situations.

Enhanced Emotional Intelligence

As individuals age, their emotional intelligence tends to improve. Emotional intelligence encompasses self-awareness, empathy, and the ability to navigate social dynamics effectively. People over 40 have had ample time to understand their own emotions, manage them constructively, and empathize with others. This heightened emotional intelligence fosters better interpersonal relationships, effective leadership, and the ability to navigate professional and personal challenges with grace.

Network and Connections

Years of professional and personal experiences provide people over 40 with an extensive network of connections. These connections may include colleagues, mentors, industry professionals, and a diverse range of acquaintances. 

Tenacity and Resilience

Having weathered various life challenges, those in this age group have developed the ability to bounce back from setbacks, persevere in the face of adversity, and maintain focus on long-term goals. This resilience becomes a driving force behind success, enabling many over 40 to persist through challenges, setbacks, and obstacles that may deter others.

Clarity of Purpose and Priorities

With age comes a deeper understanding of personal values, priorities, and life purpose. Individuals over 40 have had time to reflect on their ambitions. This clarity provides a sense of direction and focus, allowing for intentional choices aligned with aspirations. Such purpose-driven decision-making contributes significantly to achievement.

Adaptability and Growth Mindset

While experience is invaluable, individuals over 40 also demonstrate adaptability and a growth mindset. This age group is open to acquiring new skills, embracing change, and exploring emerging opportunities. This willingness to learn, adapt, and grow enhances overall capabilities and effectiveness.

You Choose Whether Or Not Life Is Over After 40 By The Way You Live

You choose what you want to do with your life after 40.

Whether life after 40 is a time of fulfillment and vitality or a period of stagnation and decline ultimately depends on how you choose to live. While the physical and mental challenges that come with age cannot be completely disregarded, they do not have to define your entire existence. Instead, they can serve as catalysts for personal growth, resilience, and a deeper appreciation for life’s experiences.

There are ways to help improve your outlook through the use of your surroundings, such as your home. A study published in Positive Psychology explains the significance your environment has on behavior.

Decluttering has also been proven to create fast, positive changes in moods and happiness. You can read a previous post I wrote about clutter here.

Ultimately, it is crucial to approach life with a positive outlook, a belief in your capabilities, and a commitment to pursuing what brings you joy and fulfillment. Life after 40 is not an ending but a new chapter—one that holds the potential for personal and professional achievements, deepening relationships, and a profound sense of self-discovery.

Until the next time, cheers!

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