BEACON TRANSCRIPT – Experts have come up with a list of reasons happiness comes with age. It is known as “the paradox of aging” – even though many things, like appearance and health change, this doesn’t stop older people from having a better sense of well-being, overall.
In the most recent study, researchers have tried to find reasons for why happiness increases with age. They looked at over 1,500 residents from San Diego, with ages ranging from 21 to 99. They revealed that people in their 20s were very stressed out or even depressed, while those in their 90s were very laid back and content with life.
The pattern was consistent and it amazed social researchers. Dilip Jeste, director of the UC San Diego Center for Healthy Aging and lead author of the study declared that people in later stages of life were happier, less depressed, and not as stressed as younger participants in the study.
The study got published in Clinical Psychiatry journal.
The authors believe that the differences in attitudes towards life could stem in the wisdom people develop as they age. Jeste sees wisdom as empathy, openness, compassion, self-knowledge, self-empowerment and selfless caring about and helping others.
As people age, they start to make better decisions based on experience and wisdom.
Other large-scale studies, conducted by experts from the Northwestern University and the Buffalo University revealed that as people mature, they begin to trust each other more and that can positively impact their well-being.
People who trust themselves and others more are also happier over time – according to Claudia Haase – Professor of social policy and study author.
The two studies had a look at 200,000 people across 83 countries over thirty years , respectively 1,230 people of different ages in the US – Millenials, Baby Boomers and Generation X. Both studies reached similar conclusions.
Haase pointed out that as people grow older, they tend to be more optimistic and forgive mistakes.
Seniors also have better access to health care and are financially better off than their younger counterparts.
As people mature, negative emotions give way to a larger focus on positive outcomes and situations. The brain goes through maturing processes which help older people calculate their emotions better and see life in a more optimistic light.
Image Source – Pixabay