We get happier as we age
Thought your care free days as a 20-something were the best of your life? Well new research claims we’re actually happier when we’re older.
Scientists from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine found that our 20s and 30s are the most stressful decades of our lives, even though we enjoy better health at this age period.
To determine their results, the team looked at data collected from a random sample of 1,546 people from ages 21 to 99 in San Diego. The test group were each interviewed on the phone and then asked to fill in a questionnaire about their physical, cognitive and mental health. Participants were asked questions such as how happy and satisfied in life they were and also how anxious, depressed and stressed they felt. It was found that the older people interviewed had a significantly higher mental health score than the young group members, despite the fact their physical health was much poorer. Participants in their 20s and 30s reported feeling the most depressed, anxious and stressed. They also had the lowest levels of happiness and wellbeing.
“There’s this idea that old age is bad, it’s all gloom and doom and older people are usually depressed, grumpy and unhappy,” explained study author Dr. Dilip Jeste.
He adds that younger people are more likely to be impacted by peer pressure.
“You’re looking at others and always feeling bad that you’re not succeeding like some of them, and you feel like you have lots of choices but you’re not really making use of them.”
In contrast, older people are able to brush off life’s small stresses.
The study was published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.