THE HAPPIEST DAYS OF OUR LIFE REVEALED
The happiest year of our life occurs when we turn 34, new research reveals. THIRTY FOUR??? IS THAT IT THEN AND IT’S ALL DOWNHILL FROM THERE ON IN? This post has now officially depressed me.
Interestingly, but not surprisingly, a key reason behind being most happy included ‘meeting someone I fell in love with’ which appeared in the happy moments for 20s, 30s and 40s, while ‘getting married’ appears in every decade.
A detailed study of 2,000 over 40s commissioned by home security specialist Yale, asked people to reflect on their levels of happiness through different stages of life and compiled the key factors for each decade.
Results showed age 34 as the happiest year for people on average – ticking boxes such as tying the knot, having kids and making decent strides in a chosen career being the biggest influencers.
The study also found 34 is the age when we are most comfortable in ourselves, earn enough money to get on the property ladder, meet monthly payments with confidence and begin starting to enjoy the finer things in life.
Being able to have visited one or two dream destinations and still feeling healthy were also reasons cited for those deeming this their happiest age to date.
The research found the happy factors for those reflecting on their twenties were associated with more freedom, wider social circles and launching a career.
Those who chose a year in their forties as their happiest so far cited career changes, watching the kids grow up and getting a bigger home among their reasons.
While people opting for a year in their fifties pointed to work winding down, the kids leaving home, paying off the mortgage and even getting a new start after a divorce among their defining moments.
The study also found those choosing a year in their sixties as their happiest year so far said the ability to retire, travel more and finally relax as crucial boosts to a positive outlook.
People were most likely to state that they had become happier as they had grown older rather than the other way round, results showed.
Overall people reflected on their lives happily, with 47 per cent able to say most of their life had been happy so far.
And 43 per cent said their life had been an equal balance of happy and rougher times, while one in ten unfortunately looked back on their life as mostly unhappy.
I wonder how many separated and divorced people they included in the research – my happy factors were quite similar to the ones below until you get to the 40’s then I wasn’t happy at all – throw divorce into the mix and it all goes wrong.
Still, interesting to read:-
HAPPY FACTORS – 20s
1. I was young and physically fit
2. I had less responsibility/more freedom
3. I was comfortable with my appearance
4. I got married
5. My family were still around
6. All my money was spent on myself
7. I met someone I fell in love with
8. I had kids
9. I had a wider social circle
10. I partied a lot
11. I travelled a lot
12. I had flings/went on dates/played the field
13. My career took off
14. I graduated university/got qualifications
15. I lived with friends
HAPPY FACTORS – 30s
1. I had kids
2. I met someone I fell in love with
3. I was able to enjoy the finer things in life
4. I travelled
5. I started making the right decisions
6. I was making more money than I ever had
7. I got married
8. Had a great holiday abroad
9. I got a great new job/made a career change
10. Finally got on the property ladder
11. I moved abroad
12. My family members got married
HAPPY FACTORS – 40s
1. Felt comfortable with myself
2. Had a great family life
3. Met someone I fell in love with
4. Had a great time with my kids/kids were growing up
5. Got some ‘me time’ back
6. I was very successful
7. I had a lot of money put away
8. Got married
9. Got a divorce, started over
10. Changed career
11. Lost weight/got fit
12. Moved into a bigger home
13. Kids moved out
14. Became stay-at-home
15. I got over an illness/condition
HAPPY FACTORS – 50s
1. I was comfortable financially and emotionally
2. Work was winding down
3. Pay off the mortgage
4. I went travelling
5. I became a grandparent
6. Kids moved out
7. Got divorced, started fresh
8. Got married or re-married
9. I was at the top of my game career-wise
10. I got over an illness/condition
11. Had a big wedding anniversary
12. Lost weight/got fit
13. Kids moved out
14. Renewed vows
HAPPY FACTORS – 60+
1. Finally retired
2. Was able to travel
3. Could concentrate on hobbies and interests
4. Had freedom from work
5. I started to appreciate life
6. I was able to relax for the first time
7. Could finally concentrate on myself
8. Became a grandparent
9. Got fit and healthy
10. Got married
11. Down-sized the house
12. I got over an illness/condition