Titling this post “Life Gets Better After Age 50” is not just an observation I made or an anecdote I heard- it’s the result of a recent study of global well-being and emotional states involving hundreds of thousands of Americans. The study confirmed that “people tend to be happier, less anxious, and less worried once they pass the half-century mark.” Results were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
To get the data, researcher Arthur Stone of Stony Brook University enlisted the help of the Gallup Organization to create a survey that got responses from over 350,000 people throughout the U.S. He found that negative feelings, worry, anger, and stress decline with age and drop off after age 50. Men and women had similar profiles throughout the years. For a more in-depth read about the study, check out this article from ScienceNOW.
Reading about this study reminded me of a review I wrote recently on Barbara Strauch’s new book The Secret Life of the Grown-Up Brain: The Surprising Talents of the Middle-Aged Mind. The book, like this study, provides examples of the positive side of aging and reasons to rejoice about growing older, wiser, and happier.