The good life begins at 50
Despite increased risk of death and disease, it seemed that people in their fifties worry less, ignore the negatives and accentuate the positives, according to scientists at Stony Brook University, New York.
The researchers said that when people reach the landmark age, their stress, anger and worry fade gradually and feelings of happiness start to surge, the Telegraph reported. Dr Arthur Stone, one of the authors of the study, said their findings were "striking".
"You would think as chronic illness threatens life would get worse but that is not the case because people don't focus on the threats," he said. "They focus on the good things in life like family and friends."
Image: Image for representational purposes only
Photographs: Sean Gardener/Reuters
Worry declines after the age of fifty
Stress and anger reduced after people reached their early 20s with worry declining after the age of fifty, they said variables such as having young children, being unemployed, or being single did not affect age-related patterns of well being, they found.
The research, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, showed that levels of stress, worry and anger all dropped significantly in the fifties and levels of happiness and enjoyment increased.
The only feeling that remained constant was that of sadness. But, overall feelings of well being increased in the fifties all the way up to the eighties, it was discovered. According to the researchers, older people also have an increased ability to self-regulate their emotions and view their situations positively and recall fewer negative memories than younger adults.
Image: Image used for representational purposes only
Photographs: Ho New/ Reuters
Older people recall fewer negative memories
Previous studies have shown increased life expectancy and widespread early retirement has created a much greater emphasis on "quality of life" among men and women in their fifties.It helped many more fifty somethings to see themselves as young and are adopting hedonistic attitudes as they imitate younger ways of living.
The latest findings back up those of a British study that showed that happiness is U-shaped over life, being at its highest in the young and old and bottoming out in middle age. This is believed to be as people begin to accept their limitations and were just happy to be alive.
Image: Image used for representational purposes
Photographs: Romeo Ranoco/Reuters