“For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
Years of happiness, who wouldn’t want that right? When you reflect on your life, are there certain years that stick out as particularly joy-filled? The year of your first date? The year you could legally order yourself a cocktail? Your time at university? When you finally got your dream job? Researchers have discovered that happiness peaks at two points in life, and even though one might be behind you, the other is yet to come.
According to a new research, we’re happiest at two points in our lives—not just one. Researchers at the London School of Economics and Political Science asked 23,000 German volunteers aged 17 to 85 to rate their life satisfaction. Participants predicted how happy they would feel in five years, and then, after five years’ time, reported back on how they actually felt.
What were their results? Anything but negative! The study found that happiness tends to follow a U-shaped curve over an individual’s lifetime, with satisfaction reaching higher levels during the extremes of the study’s age range and swinging down with middle age. Plus, the researchers noted the two most important years when happiness peaks: ages 23 and 69.
If you think about it, it kinda makes sense as twenty-three is typically an age when we’re full of momentum, energy and optimism about the future, excited for the changes that come along with young age: new careers, new places to travel, and new people to meet which makes it the more predictable of the two, perhaps.
Sixty-nine, however, is possibly an age when the stresses of the unknown are behind us and we can enjoy the fruits of our labor, both professional and personal or for most of the people they have found their inner peace by that age.