Senior Living Advice: Study pinpoints one’s happiness level rises entering senior years
By Beth Dow, Solutions by Beth
As we get older, we tend to do a lot of “looking.”
We look for our glasses, we look for our keys, we look for our wallet. That comes with age.
But do you know what else comes with age? Turns out, happiness!
In a 2010 study posted on Happify Daily, it found that adults – at age 18 – start out their happiest. From there it goes downhill. At age 53, the study found people to be at their lowest level of happiness.
Then something happens. In a 20-year span – from ages 53 to 73 – there is a steady increase of happiness. And at age 73, you reach the same happiness level as you had at age 18.
But our happiness doesn’t stop there. The study showed that happiness continued to increase up to age 85 where the study ended.
Not only are we happier as we age, happy people are healthier people. Happy people have healthier blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
And while I am dishing out numbers, one more number – 7 1/2 . That is the number of extra years people live who feel more positively about getting older compared to those who feel negatively.
So, what can you do to keep a positive attitude about aging?
Here are the 5 keys.
• Focus on your passion. Author Wes Moss writes that older adults are happier when they have at least 3 to 5 core passions.
• Get in the best shape of your life. Regular exercise can keep your cells healthier thus keeping your body and brain working the way it should.
• Build strong social relationships. Older people with strong social networks live longer than people with few friends.
• Invest in your marriage. Not all marriages are built to last and if you are not in a good marriage and need to get out, research does not advocate staying. But if you are happily married, do everything you can to keep it that way.
• Find a sense of purpose in your life. Share “you” with the world. Giving back does not have to be monetary. Volunteer at a pet shelter or read to or mentor children. Share your stories.
There is an adage that says age is just a number. Turns out it is more than a number. Age just may be the key to a happier than ever life!
Beth Dow is a Dementia and Alzheimer’s Educator, CAEd, Geriatric Case Manager and Certified Senior Advisor. Contact her at [email protected].