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Be happy!

Created date

February 22nd, 2011

Some people believe the old stereotype about seniors being grumpy or crotchety in their demeanor. But it s time for a change in these long-held attitudes because research proves otherwise most older adults are happier and more satisfied with their lives than their younger counterparts.

Focusing on the positive

Research from the University of California, Berkeley, shows that older adults are better than younger adults at seeing the positive side of a stressful situation and empathizing with the less fortunate. The researchers, led by UC Berkeley psychologist Robert Levenson, found that older adults were skilled at reinterpreting negative movie scenes in positive ways using a coping mechanism that draws heavily on life experience and lessons learned (a strategy called positive appraisal). These findings support the theory that emotional intelligence and cognitive (thinking) skills can actually sharpen as people enter their 60s. Levenson adds that staying socially engaged and using positive reappraisal to deal with challenging situations offers opportunities to enhance quality of life.

Happiness ' increases after age 50

When you turn 50, it may be a turning point for your well-being. Research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that older adults experience fewer negative feelings than younger adults. Negative feelings such as stress and anger both decline with age, but feelings of worry in particular drop off sharply after age 50. The research was based on a telephone survey of over 300,000 adults, ages 18-85, as part of a 25-year effort to measure feelings of well-being in the U.S. The results confirm findings of other studies about increased happiness with age.