Guess Who Are the Happiest People?

Maybe you don’t need yoga or a comedy show to boost your mood, just give yourself a few more years and you’ll cheer up naturally. The upside of growing older may be happiness. The predominant message in the media is that the younger you are, the better your life is. All the more surprising then is new research out of Stanford University that suggests that emotional well-being peaks at around age 70.

The study followed participants ranging in age from 18 to 94 over a 10-year period. The findings suggest the highs and lows of youth can make for unhappier people. The older people did experience negative feelings, but often they were accompanied by positive ones as well, which allowed for a more balanced, stable attitude. It is true then that the wisdom that comes with age is knowing that drama is for the theater.

Similar research on aging and happiness suggests a chart of happiness throughout a lifetime would look like the letter U. ”That’s right, we are born happy little babies, dipping into depressed mid-life crisis adults, and curve back up to our happy place after we’ve had our AARP card for a while.”

So while the young people may have firmer bums and more hair, the older set has a lot more inner peace. Not a bad trade-off really.
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  • The U-shape makes a lot of sense. I think the mid-life crisis is really the middle part of your life rather than when you turn 40. 20-somethings deal with an incredible amount of pressure, especially right after leaving school and entering the school of hard knocks.

  • I agree that the seventyish people are the most satisfied. They are commonly retired from their first career and are either volunteering or working their chosen hours at a job they enjoy. They are young enough that their monies have comparable purchase power as when they were working and they are well enough to have doctor’s visits an add on rather than the excitement of the day.

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