The Older You Are, the Happier You Get
Researchers Say Aging and Increased Happiness Go Hand in Hand
WebMD News Archive
Second Opinions: Age and Happiness, Social Connections continued...
Smith was not involved in her study but is familiar with the results.
"If you think old people become depressed and grumpy, the good news is: no
they don't," he says, adding, "We're talking about averages, and there
are always ups and downs."
The study results on happiness make perfect sense, says Barbara Becker
Holstein, PhD, a psychologist in Long Branch, N.J. With age, she notices,
people's expectations become much more realistic. "The pressure from
careers has dissipated. Older people can be in the moment, be in real time and
Both studies help dispel age stereotypes, says Adam Davey, PhD, associate
professor of psychology at Temple University. "I think the stereotype is we
get older, sicker, lonelier, more depressed."
To stay happy and socially engaged, Davey tells people to retain novelty in
their lives by pushing beyond their comfort zone and trying new things. "I
think the novelty sustains adaptability and the more adaptable, the better off
we are long term.'' The more people seek out new experiences, he says, the more
active and engaged they remain.