Excel At Life--Dedicated to the Pursuit of Excellence in Life, Relationships, Sports and Career
CBT Jealousy Depression Relationships Conflict Self-efficacy Happiness Goal-setting Motivation Wellness Sport Psych

Popular Articles

Crazy-Makers: Dealing with Passive-Aggressive People

Why Are People Mean? Don't Take It Personally!

When You Have Been Betrayed

Struggling to Forgive: An Inability to Grieve

Happy Habits: 50 Suggestions

The Secret of Happiness: Let It Find You (But Make the Effort)

Excellence vs. Perfection

Depression is Not Sadness

20 Steps to Better Self-Esteem

7 Rules and 8 Methods for Responding to Passive-aggressive People

What to Do When Your Jealousy Threatens to Destroy Your Marriage

Happiness is An Attitude

Guide to How to Set Achieveable Goals

Catastrophe? Or Inconvenience?

Popular Audios

Panic Assistance

Motivational Audios

Mindfulness Training

Rational Thinking

Relaxation for Children

Loving Kindness Meditation

Self-Esteem Exercise

Lies You Were Told

Choosing Happiness

Audio Version of Article: Crazy-Makers: Passive-Aggressive People

Audio Version of Article: Why Are People Mean? Don't Take It Personally!

Audio Version of Article: Happiness Is An Attitude

All Audio Articles

PsychNotes Index

More PsychNotes: Happiness and Well-being

February 15, 2016       
print

Not Happy? Just Wait...
by Monica A. Frank, PhD

Life satisfaction and happiness tends to increase from the late teens through the late 30s (Galambos, et al., 2015). Such a statement tends to go against the generally held belief that people are happier in their youth. In fact, even previous research tended to show that happiness decreased from late adolescence through mid-adulthood.

Why are the results different for this study? And why should this study be believed to be more accurate? Because this study shows the importance of not relying upon memory when asking about past happiness. Frequently, people's memories are distorted, and therefore, not reliable. Instead of asking people about the past, this research followed a group of people over a period of 15-20 years periodically asking them about the present: “Thinking about your life in general, how happy are you with your life?” This allowed a direct comparison of different points in each subject's life. Research that follows people over time is more accurate than relying upon memory.

Understanding that life gets better can be critical for many young people who experience depression due to life circumstances. Too often they hear statements such as “The best time of my life was high school” or “Life only gets more demanding” which can be quite discouraging for someone already depressed. If, instead, they understood that their circumstances are temporary and that life can improve, they can use that hope to cope and continue on.

To learn ways to bring more happiness into your life, take Your Happiness Assessment.

Galambos, N.L., Fang, S., Krahn, H.J., Johnson, M.D., Lachman, M.E. (2015). Up, Not Down: The Age Curve in Happiness From Early Adulthood to. Midlife in Two Longitudinal Studies. Developmental Psychology, 51, 1664–1671 DOI: 10.1037/dev0000052


Questions and Comments


All comments and questions require approval so you may not see your submission immediately.

Kindle Books by
Dr. Monica Frank



Recent Articles

Analyzing Your Moods, Symptoms, and Events with Excel At Life's Mood Log

Why You Get Anxious When You Don't Want To

Why People Feel Grief at the Loss of an Abusive Spouse or Parent

“Are You Depressed?”: Understanding Diagnosis and Treatment

15 Coping Statements for Panic and Anxiety

Beyond Tolerating Emotions: Becoming Comfortable with Discomfort

Emotion Training: What is it and How Does it Work?

How You Can Be More Resistant to Workplace Bullying

Are You Passive Aggressive and Want to Change?

When Your Loved One Refuses Help

Newest Audios

Building Blocks Emotion Training

Hot Springs Relaxation

5 Methods to Managing Anger

Panic Assistance While Driving

Autogenic Relaxation Training

Rainbow Sandbox Mindfulness

Mindfulness Training