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Mar 31

Older and Happier

 

Although what constitutes health will always be up for debate, the pursuit of happiness is universal and part of our highest aspirations. Research projects about happiness are just about as ongoing. Someone somewhere is coming up with a study that says this or that about happiness.

 

One of the more interesting findings in all this research is that the older you get the happier you are more likely to be, that is under normal conditions. It appears that the midlife crisis, which takes place for women at age 40 and age 50 for men, marks the peak of mental stress and low levels of happiness. After this dip, happiness gradually climbs back up and people in their 60s and 70s tend to be as satisfied as young people.

 

Although no one is saying why the happiness curve swings up in later life, these are some of the theories presented:

  • As people mature they accept their weaknesses and become more realistic about their goals and interests.
  • As people age the differences between education, race or sex seem to level out reducing any advantages these may have had earlier in life.
  • Maturity brings more insight, self esteem and immunity to life's stresses.
  • As we grow older and lose family and friends, we tend to cherish what we do have.
  • As people mature they are more capable of controlling their emotions such as avoiding negative and stressful experiences. For example, seniors are less likely to argue their point of view than younger people because of their perspective on life. They tend to realize that the time left is shorter and they don't have to interact with an unpleasant person for their career.

 

What do you think about these theories about why older people are happier? Someone could interpret these theories and say mature people do not argue or have stress because they give up and have resigned themselves to their place in life. Is it giving up or purposefully avoiding and is their a difference? Share your thoughts with us. Type your opinion in the comment box.

 

To your healthy aging success.

 

Ruthan Brodsky

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