Happiness is a roller-coaster, but from 54 you are on the way up
By Nigel Pritchard. Published 2020-07-03
Happiness is a roller-coaster but at 54 the way is up
Alice Hutton in a Sunday Times article, earlier this year, said that according to the neuro-scientist Daniel Levitin, happiness peaks at the age of 82. Though I must say from the description it seems more of a rollercoaster, where it declines in our thirties and starts to pick up again, sharply, from the age of 54. Thank goodness, at 57 I can really enjoy the ride up and I intend to keep it going well past 82.
In his latest book The Changing Mind, the author’s main proposition is that “as a group (older generations) are actually happier than younger people,” He arrives at this wondrous insight, from analysing hundreds of studies including Harvard, and journals such as Nature. Furthermore, he says it holds true across a swathe of countries, 72 in all.
He attributes this later in life surge of euphoria to what I describe as a growing pragmatism whereupon, according to Daniel, we readjust our thinking from the “too high expectations” of the younger generations to “realise that life is pretty good”. He also cites the importance of exercise, exploring new things, loving relationships and ditching the more poisonous ones.
As Boldies we see this as a re-affirmation of our long-held view that later-life is a time of relevance, joy, exploration and re-invention. Where we can shout from the rooftops WE ARE! not we were and I AM, not I was. We also have a real opportunity to continue to add value to society in any number of ways. I like what Jane Fonda, aged 82, said to the Washington Post “… you may be in your third act, but you can still be vital and sexual and funny …… that life isn’t over.” I for one say hooray for that.