A new study on international happiness found that people are most miserable at 47 years of age.
And the good (well great) news, our happiest times come back – in our seventies.
The research shows happiness going into a free-fall from our peak optimism at 18 years old, via thirty, flirty and thriving to bottoming out in the late 40’s – when we realise we won’t be an All Black, an astronaut, a rock-star, a world changing philanthropist – or even a mortgage free home owner.
A midlife slump is awaiting us – and chimpanzees and orangutans also hit the same midlife slump.
Our values and our brains change.
We start out hard-wired for social competition, belief, hope and ambition. But our ambition is a trickster – it never lets up and by midlife we feel disappointed, no matter how far we’ve come. (And of course the sex hormones also start declining for men and women.)
But there really is hope.
With time, happiness perks back up again, according to this new research. In fact happiness climbs back to heights seen only in our 20’s once more in our 70’s.
So no matter how dark the middle ages seem, hold on – the Happiness Curve will see you right.
As the t-shirt says “Ol’ Men Rule!”.
(Check out Jonathan Rouch’s book ‘The Happiness Curve’.)