Everybody Hurts

Hang in there guys. Keep chasing those dreams. Never give up. Even if your life turns out to be a long and glaring contradiction of everything you thought it was going to be or should have been, even if that brass ring is forever out of reach*, it’s probably going to be OK! I will direct your attention once again to a study published in 2010 and reported in the New York Times that found that people actually got happier as they aged:

The results, published online May 17 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, were good news for old people, and for those who are getting old. On the global measure, people start out at age 18 feeling pretty good about themselves, and then, apparently, life begins to throw curve balls. They feel worse and worse until they hit 50. At that point, there is a sharp reversal, and people keep getting happier as they age. By the time they are 85, they are even more satisfied with themselves than they were at 18.

In measuring immediate well-being — yesterday’s emotional state — the researchers found that stress declines from age 22 onward, reaching its lowest point at 85. Worry stays fairly steady until 50, then sharply drops off. Anger decreases steadily from 18 on, and sadness rises to a peak at 50, declines to 73, then rises slightly again to 85. Enjoyment and happiness have similar curves: they both decrease gradually until we hit 50, rise steadily for the next 25 years, and then decline very slightly at the end, but they never again reach the low point of our early 50s.

That sounds great! The soothing balm of your impending and inevitable mortality really helps to put things into perspective. Collect them all! (The years of your life!) (Contextually appropriate Pokemon reference!) (Monday morning!) (Thanks for the tip, werttrew!)

*Shout out to all the carousel heads out there!