How does knowledge change with age

Why we get happier with age

The Swedish director and screenwriter Ingmar Bergmann is said to have said: "Growing old is like climbing a mountain: the higher you climb, the more your strength dwindles - but the further you see."

This sentence wonderfully describes what science today calls the "paradox of old age". This says: the older we get physically, the more comfortable the mind feels.

The more days we experience, the more relaxed and wiser we become. The older you are, the happier you are. In short: the older, the happier.

Many studies have already proven this. A look around us also confirms these scientific findings: Today, many people enjoy their zest for life into old age. Life expectancy and the level of fitness are increasing, and people today have more free income at their disposal than any generation before.

For many, 70 is the new 50.

The older the happier

And it is precisely in this period of time - between 50 and 70 - that the phase of life should also be in which we feel the greatest happiness in our entire life. This is proven by this study by the University of California: Here researchers analyzed 1,546 adults between the ages of 21 and 100 and asked them about their physical and psychological well-being. The result was similar to that of other studies before. In terms of mental health, it was found that the older subjects performed better than the younger ones.

In this specific study, respondents older than 64 said they were the happiest.

When asked about the reasons for their well-being, the seniors said: You have already experienced a lot, you don't have to prove anything and you can enjoy yourself. The researchers said older people had better control of their emotions and had learned to derive great satisfaction from smaller things.

The boys, on the other hand, often overestimated their future happiness, which is why they later plagued worries about the future, uncertainty and fears.

Another study, on the other hand, by the American-Canadian neuroscientist and author Daniel Levitin (62), even comes to the conclusion that you only reach the peak of happiness at the age of 82.

In his book “The Changing Mind”, published this year, he writes that general satisfaction decreases in the 30s and only comes back at the age of 54. She then climaxed at 82.

A study by the British-American economist and labor economist David Blanchflower (68) also shows that the low point of happiness has been reached in western countries at the age of 47.2 - the well-known mid-life crisis really does exist. For this purpose, Blanchflower evaluated data from 500,000 people from 132 countries.

What exactly makes you happy?

There are a number of reasons why you become happier as you age.

One of them is that the neurochemistry in the brain changes over the years. Another that one's own attitude is turning.

One often realizes that one has already experienced and endured a lot. A realization that was previously denied to you, as you may have experienced these phases of life still fraught with worries.

The German psychologist and age researcher Andreas Kumpf also asked what makes happiness. He portrayed the stories of 21 people between 65 and 95 years of age. He has packaged his knowledge in the book "Glück im Alter" (Glück in Old Age). Which would be?

What exactly constitutes joy cannot be generalized - the facets are too different. There is no magic formula for happiness. But one thing emerged very clearly from his conversations:

Friends with whom you can talk openly and a strong social network make a significant contribution to happiness as you get older. Friendships as we get older are fundamental.

The psychiatrist and professor at Harvard Medical School in the USA, Robert Waldinger, comes to the same conclusion. He heads the so-called Grant Study at Harvard - it has been running for 75 years and analyzes what is valuable in a person's life. His words are more than clear: "A good life consists of good relationships."

The best guides for a good life

The most attended and popular Yale Lecture by Professor Laurie Santos is now available to everyone online for free. Here - how could it be otherwise - everything revolves around the good life. Click here for the lecture on "Science of Well-Being".

The psychiatrist and professor at Harvard Medical School in the USA, Robert Waldinger, explains in the inspiring TED talk what the results of the Grant study are all about. The Grant Study is a longitudinal study of happiness that has been conducted continuously at Harvard since 1938.

In this compilation, US author Brené Brown gives 7 tips to make life easier. Wonderful!

Dan Gilbert, author of "Stumbling on Happiness", also approaches the answer on how to lead a happy life.

"You can't win the game of life. You can only play it," says manager and personality coach Dieter Lange in his lecture. Inspirational and eye-opening.


Individual and Societal Wisdom: Explaining the Paradox of Human Aging and High Well-Being

The older the happier

‍Knowledge 57

Neuroscientists say you're happiest at 82

Mid-life crisis

Stress reduction, resilience and social contacts - these are important for a healthy pension

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