Age and Be Happy

For those of you who are afraid of getting older I present this:

Research Shows That Age and Other Perceived Adversities Don’t Always Bring Us Down

June 21, 2006 — We may get creaky and cranky as we get older, but we can be happier than we were when we were young.

So says Peter A. Ubel and other researchers at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Ubel has spent years researching how we cope with life, and how we deal with the circumstances we sometimes find ourselves in, and he reveals all in a book just released by McGraw-Hill, “You’re Stronger Than You Think: Tapping the Secrets of Emotionally Resilient People.”

Ubel, director of the university’s Center for Behavioral and Decision Sciences in Medicine, says people are wrong if they think sad circumstances condemns them to a life of misery.

“They imagine that experiencing adversity, like a serious illness, or a disability, or aging, if you want to call that an adversity, will make them less happy,” he says. “But a hoard of studies really show that it has a much smaller affect on people’s happiness than they anticipate.

“Many people come away [from adversity] no less happy than they were before.”

In his latest study, carried out with Heather Lacey, a postdoctoral fellow with the Veterans Administration’s Ann Arbor Healthcare System, Ubel found that most people are happier in their later years than they were when they were young, although they may not have expected that to be the case.

The research also shows that even if you think you’re going to be happy in your senior years, you probably think most of you’re friends won’t. But that’s not true either, says Ubel, who is 44 years old and admits to being chronically happy.

Wisdom May Bring Contentment


Click here to find out the answers to why.

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  1. Jack's Shack June 23, 2006 at 12:58 am


    I guess that much of this comes down to your attitude. Some people can cope and others cannot.

    But certainly serious illness and disability do not sound inviting or enjoyable.

  2. trn June 22, 2006 at 2:34 pm

    It troubles me that this article downplays the miserable effects many difficult circumstances can have on one’s life. While aging in and of itself may not usually be an adversity, serious illness and disability can often be quite devastating.

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