Can you guess?
When you ask people when they were the happiest, chances are they get nostalgic and reflect back to their childhood. After all, that’s when we were living free of all responsibilities — I mean really, bills? What the hell are those? Not to mention, other people were tending to our needs while our only “job” was to play, learn, then nap (all on repeat). But shockingly, data has proven popular opinion to be inaccurate, showing that our happiness tends to grow as we get older!
So at what age are we the happiest? Happify came up with an unexpected answer.
According to Happify, an app that focuses on people enhancing their happiness through exercise and games, at age 18 people are actually quite happy. However, that dips in the middle years with 53 being the lowest point of happiness. Then once again, happiness increases as you approach 60 (huge gap, right?). But wait, that’s not it! From then on, happiness continues to rise until 85 (the oldest age studied).
But we’re thinking it’s good news that happiness rises as you age because it was also found that those who stay positive live 7.5 years longer. (Looks like the “grumpy old person” stereotype just isn’t true!)
There are a few reasons given to why people get happier as they get older. One is simply that, happy people live longer and two, it has been found that as people age they enjoy “ordinary” experiences more. Essentially, people over 55 become more satisfied with their life through family, health, and home. Lastly, according to You Can Retire Sooner Than You Think, happy retirees pick up interests like volunteering, traveling, or teaching — activities that they once didn’t have the time or energy to pursue.
I guess the end goal for all of us in our middle age is to be able to retire and truly enjoy the small beauties (important aspects) of life — as many of us have taken for granted throughout our youth. If this is true, we no longer have to cling to nostalgia and my dwindling youth, because the best years are still ahead.