They say that wisdom comes with age. But a new study published in Psychological Science reveals that with age comes happiness as well. Oh, and another revealing fun fact from the same study? The year you were born can affect your overall sense of well-being.
Psychologist Angelina R. Sutin of Florida State University's College of Medicine and her colleagues conducted a survey between 1979 to 2010 that asked over two thousand Americans between the ages of nineteen to ninety-six to evaluate how much they related to positive statements on a reoccurring basis. Phrases like "I am hopeful for the future" and "I enjoyed life" were the determining factors in the study.
It turns out that happiness increases with age. Yay! This means that the confusion of our twenties or the dread of the big 4-0 are all just phases preparing us for legitimate, fulfilling happiness later in life. Fantastic, but the decade you were born in, however, affects your general sense of smile-itude. How good you feel may increase with age, but the study found that those born before and during the Great Depression had an overall lower happiness level than those born during the '50s and '60s. Turns out economic recession and its aftereffects take a harder toll on us than just our wallets. (This surprises exactly no one.)
Yet, the Millennials (those between 18 and 33) are at a higher risk of lower happiness levels than their parents. Sad face. Don't youthful things deserve to enjoy life? USA Today reports that the Millennial generation has higher levels of stress, anxiety, and are more likely to be diagnosed with depression than their elders. The same report states that depression and stress have increased 39% in the younger generation. Sutin writes, "As young adults today enter a stagnant workforce, the challenges of high unemployment may have implications for their well-being that long outlast the period of joblessness." Wishing you were born in a different generation is a nice thought, but it won't do much for our sense of well-being. Instead, we can sit in our hoodies — from a college that we now owe a bajillion dollars to — eating pop-corn, sympathizing with Girls, and looking at pictures of Boo the Dog to take the sting of reality off for a little bit. (BuzzFeed)
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