Research has consistently indicated that people, on average, feel happier and more emotionally stable as they move into middle and old age. This seems surprising as this period of one’s life is when we become acutely aware that our bodies and minds are not as efficient as they were in our youth, and when we experience health-related problems and physical and psychological losses and crises.
However, it appears that in the midst of all our ageing-related challenges and problems we are nontheless more happy and emotionally stable according to an article in the journal Psychology and Aging (October 2010), as cited in New Therapist Magazine (January/February 2011)
Why is this?
As we get older we become more aware of our mortality and that time is running out. We therefore live in a more mindful and balanced way, enjoying the joys and pleasures of the everyday life, taking nothing for granted.
We become more and more aware that our time on this earth is limited and this leads to our becoming a lot more selective in what we choose to do with our time.
In my view, the take-home message from this research is : we could all live happier lives, irrespective of our age, if we make a point of living every day in a mindful, balanced way!
And that Positive Psychology and Mindfulness training should be considered integral to psychotherapy!