What 55+ Year Olds Can Teach the Rest of Us about Happiness

A recent study found that people over the age of 55 tend to be happier than any other age group. So what can the rest of us learn from them?

1. Stress Less

A lot of us have jobs that lend themselves to stressing too much and playing too little. Do yourself a favor and don’t take yourself (or your work) so seriously. Of course, you still need to work hard, but take time to not only enjoy what you’re doing, but also take breaks when you feel overwhelmed. Go for a short walk outside or talk to a friend. Many people over the age of 55 are near retirement and have learned to not stress over work issues and are happier for it!

2. Smile More

Did you know that those aged 35 to 44 smile less than any other age group? Shockingly, 5% of people in that age group admit that they never smile! Can you imagine not ever cracking a smile? More than 50% of those over 55, however, smile more than 10 times a day. As I mentioned in this post, smiling can reduce blood pressure, release endorphins, and is actually contagious! So if all else fails, surround yourself with happy people!

I’ll leave you with some great advice from a few happy seniors:

“You are not responsible for all the things that happen to you, but you are completely in control of your attitude and your reactions to them.” ~ A 75-year-old man

“Adopt a policy of being joyful.” ~ A 84-year-old man

“I learned to be grateful for what I have, and no longer bemoan what I don’t have or can’t do.” ~ A 90-year-old woman

What age do you think you were the happiest? Do you think you’ve gotten happier as you’ve gotten older?

19 thoughts on “What 55+ Year Olds Can Teach the Rest of Us about Happiness

  1. A great post! I genuinely think that it is important to separate your work life from your personal life so you can stay happier on a daily basis – even with piles of work!

    Smiling is a great way to make yourself believe that you’re happy even if you’re not. It has the power to just make you feel like not caring about the things that you are worried about and makes you focus on the good.

    Also I would hate not to smile! I don’t really know which age I was the most happiest because I try and be happy every single day! Promote positive attitude!

  2. I LOVE this. I just got back from Florida with my grandparents and I asked them what age they were the happiest and we discussed what happiness means. It’s so wonderful to hear another perspective. I’m 25 and this is a confusing and tumultuous age and as much as I love it, I wouldn’t say it has been the easiest year of my life. One excellent life lesson- smile more… so true 🙂

  3. I used to work in hospitality and my favourite guests, hands down were the over 55year olds. In general, they were more relaxed, they stressed less, they were more grateful, they interacted kindly, were interested in others and seemed genuinely happy to be alive…………We can learn a lot from their ways and their lessons.

  4. It’s a known fact if we smile for a few seconds, it releases chemicals in our brain and we start feeling happier…so glum face and all, go to the mirror and SMILE and wait and see…it actually works:) I have way too many laugh lines and love to laugh until my tummy muscles ache.My kids say I am crazy but my grandson says I’m silly…I like silly:)

  5. I’m just 3 years and some change shy of 55. I would have to say that I am definitely better at handling stress at this juncture in life even through the number of stressful events has been off the charts over the past five years. While recently talking with my mom, who is in her late 70’s, she stated that looking back the age 50 to 65 were the best years of her life.

    I read this post yesterday but waited to observer my thoughts and behaviors to see if they matched. I found myself smiling and laughing at my computer when it would not do what I needed it to do (too complicated to explain). Then I recalled this post and found the smile did relieve the frustrations level.

    Thanks for this great post!!! More happy times ahead!!!

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