When you’re a kid, time seems to trudge by at a snail’s pace. That all changes when you grow older and take on more responsibilities. As your days become busier, you may feel like life is flying past you. You’re also more likely to notice certain psychological and physiological changes. Some of these changes, such as increased maturity, are welcome. Others, such as that slowly receding hairline, may be a little less enjoyable.
Growing up is inevitable, and it can be a remarkable adventure. The better you are at adapting to the changes that come with age, the smoother things will tend to go. Here are four realities of getting older and how to handle them with maturity and poise.
1. Hairline Changes
Hairline changes can occur as young as your 20s, depending primarily on your genetics. Men are more likely to experience a receding hairline than women, and their risk increases with age. It can be depressing when you still feel like a spry young man inside, but your hairline disagrees. But keep in mind that hair loss is a tale as old as time. It’s nothing to feel ashamed or embarrassed about.
Take heart in knowing there are multiple hair loss treatment options to help combat your creeping hairline. Noninvasive options include topical treatments like minoxidil and finasteride. These take time to work, so don’t give up after trying them for a few weeks. Most people need to use them for at least four months before seeing a noticeable difference. Take monthly photos to detect any subtle changes you might otherwise miss.
If you require a more aggressive approach, you may want to consider hair transplants. Today’s hair transplants are more effective and natural-looking than their earlier counterparts. Follicular unit extraction (FUE) is a very popular choice because it leaves no linear scarring behind. Most FUE transplants take around eight hours to complete. New hair growth typically occurs between six and nine months after the procedure.
2. Brain Changes
Hair loss is one of the more noticeable physiological changes that can happen as you grow up. But besides obvious external changes, your body also goes through hidden changes that no one else can see. The human brain stops growing in size by around age 14 for boys and age 10 for girls. But even when it’s done growing, it continues to mature and adapt into the 20s and 30s.
Unfortunately, working memory may start to decline slowly in your 30s. This is the type of memory that holds onto passwords, phone numbers, and names. It’s also natural for the brain to become slower at solving problems and processing situations as you mature. But the changes that happen to the brain after age 30 aren’t all bad. In fact, you may find it easier to understand math and abstract and spatial reasoning as you grow older.
If you’re concerned about keeping your cognitive abilities sharp as you grow older, there are a few things you can do. Sleep, exercise, and a healthy diet are essential for brain health. It’s also important to exercise your brain to keep it spry and healthy. You can do this by learning a new language, doing brain puzzles daily, and reading.
3. Slower Metabolism
Have you noticed that the older you get, the less energy you seem to have? If you can’t survive without your daily coffee or caffeinated soda, the culprit could be a slowing metabolism. Your metabolism is a combination of physiological processes that convert food to energy for your body. It’s the sum of all the individual chemical reactions your cells go through to keep you alive and functioning.
For many people, metabolism begins to slow down around age 30. By the time you reach age 40, your body will slowly begin to lose muscle mass. Even if you maintain an active lifestyle, you’ll still start to lose some muscle. As you do, you’ll start to burn calories more slowly. This is one of the key indications of a slowed metabolism.
To combat these changes and keep your energy levels high as you age, develop healthy habits as early as possible. These should include eating a balanced diet with plenty of lean protein and strength training to retain as much muscle mass as possible. You should also engage in regular aerobic exercises to help you burn calories. Staying hydrated is also very important for supporting your metabolism.
4. Improved Self-Confidence
Not all of the changes that happen as you age are bad. In fact, you may notice a dramatic increase in your confidence levels as you grow older. Getting a good education, earning a living, and practicing a healthy lifestyle can all cause your self-esteem to soar. Having supportive friends is also a key component of self-confidence.
However, once you reach age 60, you may start to experience a decline in your self-esteem. This could occur due to physiological changes that happen as your metabolism slows. You may also feel a declining sense of purpose as your retirement date looms. Some people also start to experience loneliness and a decreased sense of purpose when they become empty nesters.
To maintain your confidence into your senior years, consider picking up one (or several) new hobbies. Stay in contact with your grown children and become involved in your grandchildren’s lives, if applicable. Consider volunteering in your community to maintain your sense of purpose and belonging.
Growing older certainly comes with its challenges, but that doesn’t mean it has to be a drag. When you’re aware of the changes ahead and know how to deal with them, you can make the most of all life’s stages.