It is not a wild assumption to assume we are happiest in our youth; that as gray hair and wrinkles develop, happiness decreases.
If you share the common belief that youth is directly correlated to happiness, you’re wrong. The Telegraph reports as we grow older, we grow happier, according to scientists.
Although 40 is traditionally thought as “over the hill,” research reports optimism increases after middle age and actually peaks as late our 80’s due to fewer responsibilities, maturity and being able to focus on things we enjoy.
Happiness is heightened even more so if old age is accompanied by being in good health, financially stable and sustaining positive relationships with family and friends.
Lewis Wolpert, who is a professor of biology at University College London, described the recent findings in a new book titled You’re Looking Very Well. He revealed most individuals were “averagely happy” as teenagers and in their twenties, but the “average happiness” declined as they try to nurture a family and a build a career in their thirties.
He said: “But then, from the mid-forties, people tend to become ever more cheerful and optimistic, perhaps reaching a maximum in their late seventies or eighties.”
Research also illustrates that, though aging can result in some loss of abilities, like mathematics, other abilities like language and decision making ameliorate as the brain matures.
Furthermore, psychologists suppose in old age we evolve to be more selective with how we spend our time. As a result, we focus mainly on what we enjoy and relinquish the parts of life that make us feel dissatisfied.