Which decade of life is the happiest? The answer might surprise you

Having just celebrated another birthday,  I was more pleased than usual to read this little bit of information on the Internet today:

The happiest men are those in their 60s.

The least happy are in their 20s.

That’s according to a Pew Research Center study, which you can read more about here.

According to this article, except for people with some form of dementia, mental health actually tends to get better as we get older.

Apparently older people have fewer negative “emotional experiences” and “greater emotional control” than younger people.

So why do we get happier as we got older? Well the researchers think that we get better at avoiding negative experiences and limiting our exposure to stress.  And when we are confronted with negative experiences, we are better able to focus on the positives. Older people are better able, for example, to “let an argument slide rather than dwell on it.”

I think about the relationships in my extended family and I really think that’s true. My grandparents and my parents and my in-laws let a lot of things roll right off their backs…not in a passive-aggressive kind of way, but in a healthy and wise way.

It’s kind of inspiring, I think. My husband and I are really starting to do that, too. We don’t take as many things personally as we used to. We give each other the benefit of the doubt more often.

Here’s a blog post by Victoria Moran on Beliefnet that is kind of related and which I think is pretty inspiring, too.

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