Do We Get Happier As We Get Older?

Today is my birthday…hurrah! It got me thinking about happiness and age – specifically do we get happier as we get older?

Happiness tends to be positively linked with age and there has been a plethora of scientific research that has delved into the answer to this question.

It seems happiness is intrinsically associated with youth and youth means opportunity, excitement, health and the start of the life journey. Yes, we have more energy and future hope but I don’t think this necessarily equals being more happy. Youth brings more mistakes that cause us to feel lost and confused. Societal pressure to have your life going in the right direction can cause stress and feelings of failure if it doesn’t work out the way you expect.

We’re happier when we’ve accomplished our major goals. Many studies have shown that happiness becomes more prevalent in our lives when we’ve completed the goals we’ve set ourselves. This causes us to float along in life more contently and happily because we no longer have to strive for the big things we want out of life. This isn’t to say we stop working towards goals but we do this in a more laid-back, ‘along for the ride’ attitude.

We appreciate things more when we’re older and appreciation plays a huge role in happiness. Gratitude and appreciation is a major factor in the achievement of happiness and with the increase of age comes the increase in appreciation. It’s been found that although identity in youth is formed through experiences such as travelling, falling in love (several times), and general thrill-seeking, as we get older we find identity is found in everyday, simple pleasures and with this comes more contentedness.

With wisdom comes happiness. Every year we get older we add our lifetime experiences to our sense of self. We learn from what we’ve done and fine-tune our ideas, beliefs, understandings and apply this to life going forward. The wisdom we develop adds to our happiness as we realise others opinions don’t matter so much or how much money we make isn’t ultimately as important in making us happy as loved ones do.

We have a greater sense of acceptance as we get older. We resist less as we get older. When we’re younger we tend to want to control circumstances that are mostly outside of our control. With this brings frustration and sense of failure if it doesn’t go our way. Age allows us to accept our situations for what they are and being happy with them. This is where appreciation and feeling content with how things are ups our happiness levels.

So turning a year older, whatever your age, shouldn’t be approached with apprehension and reluctance. Be safe in the knowledge that your happiness is most likely going to rise to whole new levels 🙂

If you’re interested, here’s a great TedxTalk about age and happiness:

 

 

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The Effects Of Sleep On Happiness

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Sleep is a necessary component to our happiness. Getting enough sleep can reduce stress and depression which in turn will reduce health problems and increase and optimise our ability to function during the day.

It’s not always easy getting enough sleep with the busyness of modern life and having to juggle work with other areas of our life. Stressful events can stop us from getting those forty winks and if this happens regularly it can take its toll on our waking life.

De-stressing your life will obviously have it’s benefits in the long run; exercising and meditation practice are a couple of things you can incorporate easily into your daily routine to promote a better night’s sleep.

And of course it’s not just the quantity of sleep but the quality is even more important. 8 hours of restless sleep is worse than a good, solid 6 hours sleep. So what can we do to help ourselves get this much-needed shut-eye and therefore increase our happiness levels and quality of life?

Exercise. This is probably the most obvious and effective ways to get a good night’s sleep. Having a regular exercise routine will expel our energy efficiently and prepare the body for a good and well-deserved rest through the night.

Eating habits. What we eat has a massive effect on how well we sleep. Eating a healthy, balanced diet with less sugar and bad fats will promote a better sleeping pattern.

Hydration. Drinking enough is crucial for the body to function properly at night. Being sufficiently hydrated will allow the brain to work at its optimum levels both during the day and night.

Meditation and yoga. Stress has a huge effect on the amount we sleep and the quality of that sleep. Trying relaxation methods such as mediation or yoga will lower blood pressure and ease the mind preparing you to drift off to sleep more easily.

Sleep is so essential to our overall happiness and well-being.  At the end of the day, a tired person is not a happy person. It has been found that people who don’t get enough quality sleep are more likely to have a high amount of reoccurring negative thoughts and people with adequate amounts of sleep rate themselves higher on the happiness scale.

So if you feel you’re not getting enough sleep then don’t scrimp on your 8 hours and make sure those 8 hours are as optimal as possible by making a few changes to your lifestyle if necessary and try to sleep yourself happy 🙂

5 Reasons Why Experiences Make Us Happier Than Possessions

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I’m not trying to shamelessly plug my Lifehack article – I promise! But since I was planning to write about this topic as a blog post I thought that it would make sense to publish it here too.

Money and possessions are a big fraud when it comes to happiness. We seem to always believe that the more money we have the more happy we become but loads of research has found that this isn’t the case. The money that we do have should be spent wisely but do we spend it wisely? We buy things that seemingly make us happy but do they? Or are there better things to spend our money on?

My article discusses the 5 reasons why spending money on experiences will make us happier than buying material things 🙂

Read the article here:

5 Reasons Why Experiences Make Us Happier Than Possessions