These days, there is an awful lot of pressure on people to “seek happiness.” The premise that if you do certain things by a certain age – fall in love, get married, have children, get your dream job – will naturally equate to feelings of happiness is more prominent than ever in 2016. However, this also works in reverse; if you don’t hit these ‘targets’ you feel you’re falling behind, and this only mounts as you get older. You’ll perhaps feel that you aren’t happy because perhaps your friends are succeeding more than you, faster than you are, or you feel under pressure to have children “before it’s too late”, or even if you haven’t done x, y and z in the normal societal order.
But, as we all know, life is not so simple. Goalposts shift and change; you grow, you mature and with this wisdom will invariably come the knowledge that true happiness can’t be measured by just ticking items off a checklist, it simply comes as it will, with the ups-and-downs of life and in the little moments, bigger moments and all the moments in between.
Contentment is a much more realistic life goal to want to reach and is, in this writer’s humble opinion, vastly underrated. If you feel content in your every day, you’ll soon discover how happy you really are. We’re all likely to feel more content the older we become; we’re more self-assured, more confident and we have a solid idea of the life we’d like to have. A new survey has examined this theory and affirmed that peak endorphins occur for Irish people at age 43 and over.
New survey results by Yoplait – as part of their ‘I love My Age’ campaign – have revealed that Irish people across the country are embracing their age, with 6 in 10 (60%) Irish adults loving the age they are right now, with their forties picked as the decade of peak happiness.
On average, Irish adults selected 43 as the age they feel the most content, with male respondents choosing 45 as their happiest age, and females opting slightly younger at 40 years of age. Yes, though we’re often told that our formative years are the best of our lives – free of financial worry or the responsibility of raising a young family – these figures reveal that we as a nation are happier when we’re that bit older and wiser; when asked what people’s top priorities were in life, more than two-thirds (68%) of Irish adults noted that family was the most important thing in life, followed by financial security (17%), finding love (6%), travelling the world (3%), having a successful career (3%) and personal health (2%).
The figures make sense. In our forties, we’re hitting our strides, we’re also said to be at our most comfortable and at ease at this stage. We’ve gotten over the insecurities and uncertainties that dominated our 20s and we’re happy in our own skin and it’s pleasing to know that this continues the older we become – more than 8 in 10 (85%) adults across all age groups say they become increasingly comfortable in themselves as they age.
But don’t wish your life away waiting for these decades either or assume that things won’t change no matter what stage you’re at; the beauty of life is that nothing will ever stay the same, and the time we have is short. Concentrate on living your life, embrace the present while looking forward to the future and happiness will follow.