No Self

The happiest age is...

8 posts in this topic

G'day all,

When I was studying, my teacher mentioned a study which claimed that the happiest age of a human lifetime is 4. But in trying to find a citation, I instead came up with studies showing happiness peaks mid-teens to early 20s, then reaches a low point at 47, before gradually rebounding to what may be an all-time high between about 65-79. (I presume some of this research excludes the early childhood group.)

One factor is that juvenile and senior citizen age groups both involve ample quality time with friends. This point is also raised in deathbed studies, where one of the most common regrets of people at the end of their lifetimes is working too much, rather than spending more quality time with loved ones.

Jordan Peterson has cited research suggesting that people are less happy after having children (though goes on to argue everyone should have children anyway, using confounding logic). Similarly, bills, boring careers, stress, financial pressures, material pursuits and so on help explain the low point of middle-aged misery. There's also the loss of youthful beauty that most people get attached to, without the carefree mindset that the elderly eventually obtain.

Keeping life simple seems to be important, as well as time with friends and the absence of worrying about survival (yes, easier said than done). What western psychologists call 'mindfulness' is mentioned as a solution also. No doubt spiritual realisation would turn this entire paradigm on its head, but it is still worth keeping this research in mind when planning for practical purposes.

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Interesting topic. I guess that my perceptions of 70-year-olds comes from a small sample size, and confirmation bias.

I have not looked at the happiness research, but I imagine that designing research methods could be difficult. Do you measure anxiety? Ask people, "Overall, how satisfied with your life are you nowadays?" In good times, a person tends to forget bad times; but a person may have difficulty remembering or imagining happy times during bad times. A person could have a few experiences of immense happiness, but many dry moments. Or, a person might simply be content but consistently long for something. Even with frequent longitudinal data points, but comparing the responses of a 4-year-old and a 25-year-old could present its own difficulties.

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Posted (edited)

21, 18, 15

shifting into 21 is hard. But with same aged friends it was made easier. 

 

 

Edited by Ibgdrgnxxv

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How is past and future happiness of any value, if there is nothing but the moment? 

I find it quite humorous when people talk about how good their time WAS :D

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Posted (edited)

3 hours ago, No Self said:

Jordan Peterson has cited research suggesting that people are less happy after having children (though goes on to argue everyone should have children anyway, using confounding logic).

Having kids is like a 19 year plus grueling retreat that you can't leave. It takes a little bit to adjust to your life not being about you anymore, and then learning to still put happiness first anyway. Except it can't be just about your happiness anymore. There's a huge learning curve for most people because we believe that happiness is something we can posses, and therefore something we can be blocked from, and now there's this little screaming, crying, demanding thing that we thought would finally make us happy, seemingly in the way. xD All ideas and needs of happiness must be completely thrown away and reexamined in order to love this little being. 

3 hours ago, No Self said:

When I was studying, my teacher mentioned a study which claimed that the happiest age of a human lifetime is 4.

My four year old experienced intense swings between intense happiness, anger and sadness. She just feels everything with very little filter or understanding. Happiness is what you are. It cannot be remembered. You can only remember objects that occurred around the time you experienced a clear understanding of Yourself/Happiness. Happiness is utterly ageless. 

Edited by mandyjw

My Youtube Channel- Light on Earth “We dance round in a ring and suppose, but the Secret sits in the middle and knows.”― Robert Frost

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Pointless study. What's the point of talking about this?

You do have a good happiness age obviously when you are a toddler, then as a student, then as a young adult having a good time and many more....then happiness drop drop and drop until you reach 69-75 because if you lived till there, at least you have seen through more life than those who died earlier.

There's no point talking about this. You will just get neurotic over this.

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The happiest age is right now.


If you have no confidence in yourself, you are twice defeated in the race of life. But with confidence you have won, even before you start.” -- Marcus Garvey

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Ughh kind of bs. When you actually learn what Happiness  and how it works, that is ironically your " happiest age " . 


See episodes : 

 


Certified lazy skeptic and armchair philosopher

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