Hopefully you are already a happy and joyful person. Life can certainly place challenges to happiness and sometimes we consider advanced age to be anything but happy. However, a new study based on a telephone survey of 340,000 people nationwide between age 18 and 85 found that we tend to get happier as we get older!
The survey asked about global well being by asking each person to rate overall life satisfaction between one and ten. Results published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that people were quite satisfied with themselves by the time they were 85 especially when compared to when they were 18. The tendency to rate happiness lower in the 20s and 30s began to reverse in the 50s.
Emotions of stress, anger, and worry decline beginning in the 20s and more significantly in the 50s onward. Sadness rises to a peak at 50 then declines to 73 and rises again slightly to 85. Enjoyment and happiness both decrease gradually until our 50s then rise steadily for the next 25 years and decline again, but not as much as the low point in our early 50s.
The study did not try to understand what makes people happy, but there is a relationship between getting older and happiness. Not bad!