27 July 2010

The good old days are yet to come

Dock St. Theater, Church St., Charleston, S.C.

The good old days may be yet to come! I am particularly fond of this research that shows happiness and joy gradually increase after the age of 50. People keep getting happier. Isn't that nice to know? It looks like I might get really pissed off again around 83 but I'm not going to worry about that yet since worry drops off after 50.

Happiness comes with age:
On the global measure, people start out at age 18 feeling pretty good about themselves, and then, apparently, life begins to throw curve balls. They feel worse and worse until they hit 50. At that point, there is a sharp reversal, and people keep getting happier as they age. By the time they are 85, they are even more satisfied with themselves than they were at 18

In measuring immediate well-being — yesterday’s emotional state — the researchers found that stress declines from age 22 onward, reaching its lowest point at 85. Worry stays fairly steady until 50, then sharply drops off. Anger decreases steadily from 18 on, and sadness rises to a peak at 50, declines to 73, then rises slightly again to 85. Enjoyment and happiness have similar curves: they both decrease gradually until we hit 50, rise steadily for the next 25 years, and then decline very slightly at the end, but they never again reach the low point of our early 50s.