It is thought the older we get, the more we are able to use wisdom to make better complex emotional decisions.
If you’re searching for the key to a happier life then there’s one simple thing you have to do: wait. A new study has found that you are more likely to be happier the older you are.
Researchers from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine undertook a study involving 1546 adults between the ages of 21 and 100 who were selected using random digit dialling and contained a broad selection of ages. They conducted a series of well-being tests by examining the physical health, cognitive function, and other measures of mental health of those selected.
What they found was that mental health was much better in those older despite physical ailments and poor health.
Senior author Dilip Jeste who is a Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Neurosciences and director of the Center on Healthy Aging at UC San Diego, has been involved in various studies connecting mental well-being with age and was surprised by these findings.
“Their improved sense of psychological well-being was linear and substantial. Participants reported that they felt better about themselves and their lives year upon year, decade after decade.”
However, previous studies have been found to show up with mixed results although Jeste has continually seen a correlation between getting older and increased well-being, life satisfaction and perceived lower levels of depression, stress and anxiety.
“Some investigators have reported a U-shaped curve of well-being across the lifespan, with declines from early adulthood to middle age followed by an improvement in later adulthood. The nadir of mental health in this model occurs during middle age, roughly 45 to 55. However, we did not find such a mid-life dip in well-being.”
The theory is that older people are using gathered wisdom found throughout their life that results in making better complex emotional decisions that inevitably come up in life.
The study was published in the The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.