Some people idealize high school and college as the happiest times of their lives.
I am not one of those people. You couldn’t pay me to be a teenager again, and my 20s weren’t much better.
Naturally I found this recent HealthDay story interesting, reporting on a new Stony Brook University study that shows people over 50 are generally happier:
On average, people reported being less worried once they passed the half-century mark, and less stressed and angry in the years after their 20s. Perhaps most surprisingly, people in their 70s and 80s were the most likely to report fewer negative emotions.
Why? If I had to guess, it’s because when you’re younger, every problem you face is new and monumental — every relationship ending, every bad boss, every disagreement with your family. Once you’ve been through a few similar situations, next time, you have some life experience to draw on and it’s easier to deal with. Plus you remember surviving the last break up or the last work trauma so you’re more confident you’ll make it through this one.
Researchers have a different hypothesis:
One popular theory in academia is that people stop looking forward as they get older and begin appreciating what they have in life. “Perhaps you’re making decisions about your life to maximize your pleasure in the now,” Stone said.
So maybe you realize your own mortality and decide to stop worrying and start living.
What do you think? Do you think you’re getting happier as you get older?
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