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Want More Happiness? Just Stay Alive and Lower Your Expectations

Researchers have been flip-flopping for decades on whether happiness and age go hand in hand. But, in 2013 Scientific American reported that most people become happier as they age – with peak happiness around 60-70. 

So, what’s the deal with that grumpy old man stereotype? It’s all about the amount of suffering they went through in childhood. The Great Depression made everyone unhappy, but those kids had a head start on the happiness train.

But hold up, a newer study published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science  shows that older adults are feeling less satisfied than those in their 30s. 

The researchers say it’s all because of high expectations. 

This shows we would do best to savor past and current accomplishments. Practice acceptance and gratitude while gently working to improve oneself. Engage in mindfulness practices proven to increase self-esteem and well-being. 

f you do, you’ll be happier and happier with each passing year.


Don’t let your dreams die. Keep on truckin’. Focus on those goals that make you feel like you have a purpose in life.

And while you’re at it, take a few minutes to remember all the things you’ve been given in life. Because happiness is hiding in your brain, like a little secret.

Take a moment to reflect on all the little things you did right this week. Like, remember when you didn’t burn the toast? Or when you put your socks on the right feet?

Savoring these past moments of success will probably make you feel better. Now reflect on your accomplishments this past month. Are you feeling happier now?

If you write down all of the pleasurable accomplishments in your life, you might just have a transformative and enlightening experience.

It’s science.

A scuba diver with fish swimming around him, showcasing the mental focus required for this simple yet exhilarating activity.

Dive Deeper


Age Brings Happiness: Exactly how much joy, however, depends on when you were born.
Karen Simring. Scientific American Mind, May 1, 2013.

More Happiness for Young People and Less for Mature Adults: Time Period Differences in Subjective Well-Being in the United States, 1972–2014.
Jean M. Twenge, Ryne A. Sherman, Sonja Lyubomirsky. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 1-11-16.


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