Dispelling the myth that we get grumpier as we get older, a new study has found the opposite is true and that our happiness levels soar from the age of 45.
Researchers from Warwick Medical School at the University of Warwick found that participants reported a better mental quality of life as they reached middle age, despite experiencing a decrease in physical quality of life.
The study analysed lifestyle and health patterns of more than 10,000 people in both the US and UK and looked at their mental and physical quality of life, as well as health status, looking at factors such as general health, social functioning, mental health and pain threshold.
“It’s obvious that people’s physical quality of life deteriorates as they age, but what is interesting is that their mental wellbeing doesn’t also deteriorate – in fact it increases,” Dr Kandal Ngianga-Bakwin said in a statement.
“We suggest this could be due to better coping abilities where older people tend to have internal mechanisms to deal better with hardship or negative circumstances than those who are younger.
“It could also be due to lowering of expectations from life, with older people less likely to put pressure on themselves in the personal and professional spheres.”
The study also looked into the effect sleep has on a person’s quality of life, and found there was an optimum window of sleep duration.
The participants who slept between six and eight hours a day tended to have both better physical and mental health than those who slept for less than six hours a night.
In a separate study last week it was revealed that typing on the right side of your keyboard makes you happier.
Instant happiness tips you can try now, by Cognitive Hypnotherapist, Lesley McCall:
If you embody happiness you might be surprised that it can make you feel happy in reality. Using the body language of happiness convinces your unconscious that you are actually happy.
Get rid of your worries and negative thoughts by singing them - preferably in the most operatic and overly dramatic way possible! If you can make a problem sound funny, it's harder to be anxious about it.
It might sound obvious, but when you watch something funny, the mirror neurons in your brain copies what you're watching, giving you an instant feel-good boost.
Count your blessings (literally)
Count your blessings, out loud. Take five minutes to list all the things that are good and positive in your life at the top of your voice so you can hear them loud and clear. You might be surprised how many there are.