Do you believe you are happier now than ever before in your life? What age would you say you were the most happy? The Economist recently printed an article, “The U-Bend in Life” (December 2010) which answers the question and you may find it surprising.
There are four main factors to happiness, gender, personality, external circumstances and age. If you fall into these categories changes are better that you are a happy person:
- women tend to be happier
- those with extrovert tendencies and enjoy being in teams and with people are happier than those that sit behind a closed office door
- married, higher education, children that have left the house and riches, people with money are happier than those without
- you are in your mid 40′s and higher
“Arthur Stone, Joseph Schwartz and Joan Broderick of Stony Brook University, and Angus Deaton of Princeton, breaks well-being down into positive and negative feelings and looks at how the experience of those emotions varies through life. Enjoyment and happiness dip in middle age, then pick up; stress rises during the early 20s, then falls sharply; worry peaks in middle age, and falls sharply thereafter; anger declines throughout life; sadness rises slightly in middle age, and falls thereafter.”
Studies show that people who are happy recover faster from illness, are less likely to remain in conflict and better at handling misfortunes. They are also less likely to take things personally instead take the adage “you can’t please everyone” and then let the punches roll.
If given the choice, wouldn’t you rather be happy? Perhaps it is all about the lens we view life through.