It is inevitable. The muscles weaken. Hearing and vision fade. We get wrinkled and stooped. We can’t run, or even walk, as fast as we used to. We have aches and pains in parts of our bodies we never even noticed before. We develop chronic, progressive illnesses like heart disease. We get old.
It sounds miserable, but apparently it is not. According to the New York Times, a large U.S. survey of over 340,000 people aged 18-85 has found that by almost any measure, people get happier as they get older, and researchers are not sure why.
The Times reported that in the study’s global measure of well-being, people start out at age 18 feeling pretty good about themselves. But 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. Continue reading