Good news, everyone: The happiest years of your life are still ahead.
According to new research, we’re at our happiest at two points in our lives—not just one. Researchers at the London School of Economics and Political Science polled 23,000 German volunteers aged 17 to 85 to rate their life satisfaction.
Participants were asked how happy they’d feel in five years, and after those five years, reported how they actually felt at the time.
The study found that happiness trends on a U-shaped curve over an individual’s lifetime, with satisfaction peaking at higher levels during the extremes in the study’s age range, swinging down with middle age.
The two most important years when happiness peaks was documented at ages 23 and 69.
It’s logical: our early 20’s are filled with new changes as we come of age, like new careers, places to travel, new people, new places to live, and more. And by the time we’re entering our 70’s, we’ve likely retired and are ready to tackle the long bucket list throughout those remaining golden years.
The middle age dips isn’t surprising either. That’s when you’re still raising a family, climbing the corporate ladder, and still trying push through whatever life throws at you this week.
But of course, age is just a number and shouldn’t dictate your happiness. Experts recommend prioritizing small yet rewarding tasks like taking a walk or spending time with family to find that fulfillment. And on the plus side, you’ll have at least one reason to look forward to getting older: You’ll be happier!
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