18 May Cultivating Positive Age Beliefs | Dr. Becca Levy
Aging is a part of life. But in our American society, we hold some pretty strong negative age beliefs. Elderly people are segregated from regular life, and seen as past their prime with nothing left to offer. We associate old people with dementia and disease instead of wisdom and admiration. Why is that? And how can we cultivate more positive age beliefs that could help us live longer, healthier lives?
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Dr. Becca Levy wants us all to see old age as a positive, not a negative.
As an award-winning Yale Professor of Psychology and Public Health, Becca Levy, PhD has long studied human behavior. She received her doctorate in psychology from Harvard University and held a National Institute on Aging postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Levy has testified before the United States Senate on the effects of ageism and has even submitted briefs to the US Supreme Court in age-discrimination cases. Her fascinating scientific discoveries help serve as evidence for the World Health Organization Campaign to Combat Ageism.
Becca is credited with creating a field of study focusing on how positive age beliefs can improve the overall quality of life of individuals, as well as how damaging negative age beliefs can be for us all. Dr. Levy breaks this all down in her book, Breaking the Age Code: How Your Age Beliefs Determine How Long and Well You Live.
While this is a topic I haven’t covered before,
after our conversation, it’s all I have been thinking about! I’ve traveled all over the world and have met elders of so many different cultures. And after hearing Dr. Levy talk about ageism, I now realize that our American society is the exact opposite of the cultures I’ve been blessed to visit with. As a society, we hold so many negative age beliefs. And these beliefs are so ingrained in our culture, that we don’t even give them much thought anymore.
Instead of holding our eldery citizens in the esteem they deserve, we basically cast them aside to make room for the younger generations. We think of aging as one step closer to death instead of one step closer to the priceless wisdom that comes with age and experience. So how do we replace these negative stereotypes with positive age beliefs?
This conversation with the brilliant Dr. Levy is all about how we can shift our mindset towards aging. Because when we cultivate more positive age beliefs, we set ourselves up for healthier, happier, longer lives. Getting older isn’t about losing who you are, it’s about growing into the best version of yourself. I can’t wait for you to hear Dr. Levy’s amazing advice about how we all view age more positivity.
[00:03:49] What intrigued Becca about age
[00:07:17] How do we change attitudes towards aging
[00:11:05] What exactly is agism?
[00:19:30] Surprising beliefs about aging
[00:29:50] What do positive age beliefs look like?
[00:34:45] What is age segregation and how can we prevent it?
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