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Where Did Your Groove Go?

Rebecca Bennington Blog Picture

I went to a concert a couple of weeks ago.  Well, it was sort of a concert.  It was a tribute to Simon and Garfunkel, in a small venue, in a small Ohio town. It had fantastic revues. It was great!

Needless to say, the audience was primarily the same age group that might have seen them perform live in their heyday.  The venue was a theater with row seats, a bar, historical building, in the heart of a nice historical district. The weather was good, no clouds, no warnings, and as far as I know everything about the day, concert, and location overall was flawless.

And I felt like no one really cared at all.  They might as well have attended a Shakespeare performance, on a dreary day, in an auditorium with stone chairs or no seats.  While I was reliving the Concert at Central Park (that I didn’t get to attend the first time around), the stoic audience was being very appropriate, and quiet, and applauding at the designated times in the proper modulation.  Was it just me?

As people were exiting the show I heard their conversations about what a good performance it was and how much they enjoyed it.  People were talking loudly and happily. And I just couldn’t understand this mixed set of behaviors, so as with all things, I ‘googled’ it by forming the question “why don’t older adults express themselves?”.  Here is what I found.

A study by the American Psychological Association found that self-esteem declines around age 60 to 65.  Ironically, happiness increases at about the same time.  It may be that if you have low self-esteem, you may feel embarrassed to fully express your joy or enthusiasm.

Another consideration is that older adults have an increased ability to regulate their emotions.  They are more able to think before they act, control outbursts, become less distracted, and let go of negative emotions easier.  Along with all of this they also report experiencing more happiness than other age groups.  Maybe this means that they do not feel the need to tap their toes or sway to the music but experience it as intensely, just the same.

Here is what I suspect is the culprit:  ageism.  Ageism tells people how to act as they approach late adulthood.  Everyone has heard that someone should not dress a certain way, do an activity, attend a certain event, or (fill in the blank) because they are too old. I suspect that those who attended this concert may have been hesitant to act on their feelings because they may have felt it would be out of the appropriate age range to raise their hands above their head or sway to the music.

Ageism is said to be the reason for 6.3 million cases of depression globally.  Without furnishing proof I am going to say that people who groove to their favorite songs are less depressed.

I am not suggesting that people should have been standing on their chairs, taking off their shirts, and passing around a joint.  It just seemed very odd to me that everyone was so reserved, in spite of how they said they felt about the music.  And I feel like if they were not expressing this during the show, then they were not really engaged in the experience.

My personal path to happiness is filled with music.  This particular event was magical.  I hope you have the opportunity to see it for yourself sometime, but if you do, please sway along at least once.  You can practice with this:

https://www.thesimonandgarfunkelstory.com/

For now, I’ll go home and relive the concert I will never get to attend, in Central Park, in 1981, on vinyl of course…..  https://amzn.to/3wQvRgb

As always if you would like to talk more about this, please reach out to us.  Someone from YP2H would love to help you find your groove in your journey to Happy.

 

www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/changepower/202007/why-are-older-people-happier-less-confident

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9633333/

 

https://social.desa.un.org/sdn/ageism-is-a-global-

 

 

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Tags: ageism

Rebecca Bennington

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