You may feel as though the carefree days of youth are far behind you. What’s more, the road that lies ahead may seem to lead only to the physical and mental deterioration that comes with age. If these thoughts have crossed your mind, take heart! In his book The Happiness Curve, author Jonathan Rauch takes note of the phenomenon that happiness improves after the age of 50, rather than spiraling downward. Read on to learn why your happiest days are still ahead of you. In addition, read tips for how to maximize your happiness right now, today, no matter what age you are.
16. Common Myths of Happiness
It can be easy to believe that happiness is always just out of reach. As humans, we tend to look beyond what we have in the search for something better. Many people buy into the myth that they will be happier when they find the perfect spouse, job, car, or home. They may spend their youth thinking happiness will only be attained when they have achieved a certain status. In middle age, they may fear that status will never be achieved and therefore they have missed their chance for happiness. This can result in the false belief that old age will be filled with disappointment and regret.
15. Research into Age and Happiness
Studies have cropped up showing that happiness actually forms a curve, with peak ages of happiness being young adulthood and advanced age. A study by the London School of Economics explains this U-shaped curve as happiness experienced by the optimism of youth. This stage is followed by a middle-age decrease in perceived happiness when goals have not been achieved or plans have gone awry. Fortunately, happiness does not continue on a downward path, but increases with age and a new perspective on life. Elderly adults who have put aside their regrets over unaccomplished aspirations find joy in life and the pleasures of each day.