In the game of life, is it all downhill as young adulthood turns into maturity? Our culture of youth obsession and celebration of the college years and 20s as the golden years of one’s life has led many of us to believe that our happiness declines as we age. Some (rather depressing) research has found that 80 percent of life’s defining moments occur by the age of 35 — suggesting that there may not be much to look forward to in the second half of life.
But this couldn’t be further from the truth. The concentration of life’s major events in adolescence and early adulthood may not be anything to feel discouraged about — and it certainly doesn’t mean that happiness and life satisfaction decline as we get older. In fact, a growing body of research has proven that we’re wrong to think that happiness is correlated with youth. A wealth of scientific and anecdotal evidence demonstrates precisely that it’s when people have surpassed many of life’s big landmarks that their overall satisfaction and happiness peaks.
Our culture of YOLO and Botox may valorize youth and instill in us a fear and distaste of aging, but this attitude doesn’t come close to reflecting the reality of getting older — and we’d do well to celebrate the ways that life improves as we age.
Here are six scientifically-proven reasons that happiness and aging go hand in hand.
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