Study after study has suggested that life happiness is a U-shaped curve. We report we’re happiest in our teens (I don’t remember it that way!)
, with a low point in our early 50’s. Then we get happier again in our 60’s and 70’s (that I can definitely attest to
). “[It] is a healthy change, but there’s a nasty transition in the middle”
Here’s an excellent example of one man’s discovery of the happiness curve, and how it helped explain his mid-life funk: The Happiness Curve, And Why Your Midlife Isn’t A Crisis.
One possible explanation for the U-shape of happiness is that as we move past 60, we become become less focused on getting ahead, and keeping up with the Joneses. We become more interested in relationships and making personal connections. That definitely makes sense to me and fits my experiences.
This composite graph (and great article too) combines seven different happiness surveys, and shows they track a similar path. They seem to predict we’re going to have a midlife crisis, and then come out the other side feeling good.
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