Women! Are you feeling a little down about midlife? Good news: it happens to almost everyone, and if you can weather the storm, happiness increases as we age, according to Jonathan Rauch, author of The Happiness Curve: Why Life Gets Better After 50 (Thomas Dunne Books, 2018).
Happiness, he says, is a U-curve, peaking in youth and old age, but bottoming out in one’s forties. Why? The author explains that there is no particular reason—and that’s what makes it so frustrating. While people in their middle years are often experiencing success in their lives and careers, they struggle to find satisfaction—until after age 50, when the curve swings upward again in a big way.
Did you know?
- StatsCan reports that women over 70 are among the country’s happiest people, happier than men of the same age group. Good overall health and fulfilling personal relationships were two of the main contributing factors to overall happiness.
- And in a recent poll by McCann Worldgroup Canada and Ipsos, women aged 50 and over described themselves as “optimists” (69 percent) and reported that they “were living a fuller life” (59 percent).
Great to hear, but what if you’re not there yet? Are you doomed to spend a decade or more at the dreaded bottom of the U-curve? Not necessarily. Accepting it as a normal transition and talking about it can help, suggests Rauch. And now is the time to lay the groundwork for that happy future: be proactive about your health, manage your finances, and continue to nurture the relationships you want to keep for life.