Even though the physical quality of life goes down once an individual gets past middle age, the level of their mental satisfaction increases, a new study has claimed.
The study, conducted by researchers from the University of Warwick, backs up previous research showing that happiness levels form a U-curve, reaching their low point at around 45 but then increasing as we age.
For the study, the researchers analysed the lifestyle and health patterns in more than 10,000 people in the U.S. and the UK. They evaluated quality of life using eight different factors including perception of general health, pain, social functioning and mental health.
According to Saverio Stranges, the study leader, happiness may increase with age because we develop “better coping abilities” to deal with hardship than younger people.
“It’s obvious that people’s physical quality of life deteriorates as they age, but what is interesting is that their mental well-being doesn’t also deteriorate - in fact it increases,” the Daily Mail quoted him as saying.
“We suggest that this could be due to better coping abilities, an interpretation supported by previous research showing older people tend to have internal mechanisms to deal better with hardship or negative circumstances than those who are younger.
“It could also be due to a lowering of expectations from life, with older people less likely to put pressure on themselves in the personal and professional spheres,” he added.