Happiness Never Grows Old

The good news is that the longer we live, the happier we are lucky to be, according to the results of a growing body of research.

Susan Turk Charles, a researcher on aging and mental health at the University of California, Irvine, said that her findings show that happiness and emotional well-being get better with time. Charles said that older people have more control over their emotions, and they learn to stay away from stressful situations. They are also less likely to let negativity from others bother them.

“We know that older people are increasingly aware that the time they have left in life is growing shorter. They want to make the best of it so they avoid engaging in situations that will make them unhappy. They have also had more time to learn and understand the intentions of others, which helps them to avoid these stressful situations,” said Charles.

One other study done over a 23-year time span examined three groups of people at several different stages in their lives. This research revealed similar results: emotional happiness grows with age.

Charles noted that these finding may not apply to everyone. Older people with challenges such as dementia or other issues might feel less happy.

“We know that older adults who are dealing with chronic stressors, such as caregiving, report high rates of physical symptoms and emotional distress,” she added.