Why we become happier as we get older
Happiness has become a modern obsession. We all search for it, holding on to it, and wishing it on our loved ones, have all become motivating forces for how we live our lives. We also use happiness as a measuring stick for life decisions. Example; if a job does not make us happy, we quit it. If a relationship stops making us happy, we leave it.
Happiness has lodged itself at the center of our lives and we make some drastic choices desperately trying to reach it. This is especially true for people in their 30s and 40s, who are at the highest risk of using antidepressant and developing mood disorders than any other age group. They are also the biggest consumers of the self help industry, spending their money on wellbeing retreats, travelling, online happiness boosting activities or pop psychology books. Ironically, research shows that the pursuit of happiness might not only make us less happy, but also more lonely, as we often end up cutting ourselves off from the people who represent life that we want to leave behind.
As we grow older, the wisdom with passage of time improves the thinking i.e. relatively what is right and what is wrong. Most of the unhappiness is always inflicted on us by the outside and at young age, it is difficult to have impartial analysis. In this situation, most of us suffer unhappiness sometime on petty reasons.
Some of the tips described below, if young one’s follow, the possibility of feeling happy shall be much higher.
We tend to spend our 20s and 30s creating our future. By our late 30s and early 40s, when we realize that (a) we have not achieved what we have hoped to achieve, (b) our future is shrinking rapidly.
We have 2 options; either we begin to panic or we adjust to the changes by directing our thoughts to the positive past. If we look for positive past, definitely you will feel more secure and happier as we move further in our life.
When we are young, we let our emotions run wild. Higher they go, lower they drop. It takes us years to control them. As we move in our 50s, emotions become more stable and we begin to achieve more serenity in life. Apart from that, we are more drawn to positivity and are able to hold on it for longer, which is another reason why we feel happier as we age.
In our 20s, our social network is very thriving. New people coming to our lives all the time, be it colleagues from new job/extra circle of friends/ family of a new romantic partner. Then as we enter our 30s, it all begins to change. We no longer have the time nor the energy to nurture all our friendships and people drop from our lives like flies. As we move into our 50s, older and wiser, we begin to put more effort into the people in our lives, strengthening our relationships. This is the reason, why we become happier later in our lives.
Life events are like traffic. When the road is empty, it is easier to drive. As soon as it becomes busy, it is harder to cope with the traffic. Research indicates, that both traumatic events and daily hassles are at their highest level when we reach mid life. Thereafter, they begin to slow down, as we learn how to cope with them more effectively and we become happier as a result.
As we move along the years, we become better at foreseeing the consequences of our and other people’s behaviors and become skilled at planning the best action to maneuver through life changes. Each day teaches us new life skills and they make it easier for us to feel happier.
In fact, it would be a good idea to relax and let nature take its own course. Because with things actually improving with age, uplifting truth is that we all have an ever increasing chance of living happily even after i.e. as you grow older.