How Do We Age?
How old would you be, if you didn’t know how old you was?…Satchel Paige
– Chronological Age
Chronological age measures the number of years, hours, minutes and seconds we have been alive. If this is our only criterion of healthy aging, we will feel older and older every year we remain alive. We will feel less energetic, less passionate, less flexible, and less alive with every day that passes. Fortunately, this is only one of many measures of healthy aging.
– Biological Age
Biological age is determined by outward physical appearance and such critical life signs as thinning and graying hair, wrinkled and sagging skin, brown, white and red spots, hazy, puffy eyes with bags underneath, and a weak and fragile body. Many of these signs can be ameliorated by living a healthy lifestyle or camouflaged with makeup or cosmetic surgeries. Some of the signs of biological aging can actually be reversed through proper diet, exercise, positive, creative thinking, and pleasurable life experiences.
– Functional Age
Functional age is measured by our level of physical fitness, including breathing capacity, cardiovascular efficiency, muscular strength, flexibility, vitality, energy, rate of recovery from injury and illness, and immune system strength. Symptoms of high energy, freedom from neuromuscular aches and pains, ability to participate in and enjoy strenuous physical activities in addition to being able to adequately handle the basic needs of everyday living.
– Psychological Age
Psychological age is subjective, determined by how old we feel we are. It is a measure of our enthusiasm and passion for living, our interest in life activities including sexuality, and our willingness to explore new activities and learn new skills. The more we experience excitement and passion, the happier our thoughts become, the more others want to spend time with us, the more we can enjoy sharing our being with others.
– Emotional Age
Emotional age is the quality of our emotional stabililty and maturity. It is a measure of the way we respond to others, interact with them and handle conflicts, especially when we are not getting our own way. It is also a measure of whether we follow our dreams, pursue our stated goals, handle our responsibilities and commitments appropriately, and how we feel about our self and others. It is determined by how we adjust to changing circumstances and to life’s normal ups and downs.
– Intellectual Age
Intellectual age is determined by the strength of our memory, our ability to concentrate, to think critically about the world around us, to solve problems, and to remain curious, creative, intellectually sharp, opne-minded, and flexible in our thoughts and attitudes.
– Social Age
Social Age is determined by how we share our time with others, whether we are totally enmeshed with others like a newborn infant with its mother, or totally defiant, distant and aloof from others like an abandoned child, or are we able to give and take, share and enjoy the company of others and also being alone.
– Sexual Age
Sexual Age is determined by not only how we behave sexually but also by how we think about sex, sexuality, men, women, our own body, the bodies of others, and the actual sexual acts. Sexual maturity is determined by our awareness, appreciation of, and attraction to the very real human beings in our social sphere with whom we share intimate relationships.