Why Adults Are Less Happy Than They Used to Be

Posted on November 7, 2015

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Until recently, research converged on the latter: Older people are happier, with happiness peaking when people reach their 60s and 70s. Maturity leads to more contentment and a greater appreciation of what really matters in life, such as spending time with loved ones and helping others.

In the last five years, however, the once-reliable correlation between age and happiness vanished. Older adults are no longer happier than young adults. Teens and young adults were happier in the 2010s than they were in previous decades, but adults over age 30 were less happy recently.

The change wasn’t due to generations cycling in and out of these age groups — it was a true cultural shift affecting everyone. Why has this happened? A prime suspect is our modern belief system that everyone should follow their dreams. New media makes fame seem like just one viral video away. Reality shows lift ordinary people from obscurity and into the limelight. With expectations so high, less happiness is the inevitable result.

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Category(s):Adjusting to Change / Life Transitions, Adult psychological development, Aging & Geriatric Issues

Source material from Psychology Today


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