Another Thing that Gets Better with Age!

Aug 11, 2016

We’ve got something else you can add to the list of things that get better with age. You’ve heard that wine, wisdom, and worn jeans get better and better. But did you know that happiness also increases as you age?

Several well-researched studies back this up

One extensive Gallup poll of 340,000 people showed that after the age of 50, people start getting progressively happier.

The people studied were between 18 and 85. The survey showed that people start out at age 18 feeling generally happy, but begin to feel progressively worse until they hit age 50. After that point, however, people begin getting consistently happier as they age. In fact, this study surprisingly showed that people are more content and have a better sense of well-being when they’re 85 than they do at the youthful age of 18!

Dr Saverio Stranges, who led the study, said happiness may increase with age because we develop “better coping abilities” to deal with hardship than younger people.

“It’s obvious that people’s physical quality of life deteriorates as they age, but what is interesting is that their mental well-being doesn’t also deteriorate – in fact it increases.” 

Many other studies have found similar results

Researchers believe that a lot of different things contribute to this greater sense of happiness and well-being as you age:

  • a better ability to assign higher value to ordinary experiences and everyday pleasures
  • lower stress levels
  • reduced ambition
  • greater acceptance of oneself and one’s life circumstances
  • a deeper appreciation of the value of life
  • a feeling of fulfillment
  • the ability to live in the present and not worry about the future
  • the wisdom to know that you can’t please everyone all the time
  • an inclination to see situations more positively

 “As we age, we have the opportunity to accept who we are, instead of focusing on who we feel we need to become,” psychoanalyst Ken Eisold writes in Psychology Today. “We relax into being ourselves. Our faces start to look like who we are. And the world settles into more and more familiar patterns. That acceptance brings diminished anxiety and a higher degree of enjoyment.”

Good news

We like what these studies show! So crack open that aged bottle of wine, get your favorite old pair of jeans on, and look forward to enjoying increased happiness each year!