Excel At Life logo


PsychArticles button PsychNotes button PsychApps button PsychAudios button PsychTests button About button
Support Excel At Life's Mission!
Help Translate
Spread the Word
Make Contribution
Become a fan on Facebook! Follow on twitter for site updates! Follow on Google+ for site updates!
Excel At Life--Dedicated to the Pursuit of Excellence in Life, Relationships, Sports and Career











Sport Psych


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

Conflict in the Workplace

Motivation: Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic

20 Steps to Better Self-Esteem

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

Promoting Healthy Behavior Change

10 Common Errors in CBT

What to Do When Your Jealousy Threatens to Destroy Your Marriage

Rejection Sensitivity, Irrational Jealousy and Impact on Relationships

For Women Only: How to Have the Relationship of Your Dreams

What to Do When Your Partner's Jealousy Threatens to Destroy Your Relationship

Making Attributions for a Healthier Attitude

Happiness is An Attitude

Thinking Your Way to a Healthy Weight

Guide to How to Set Achieveable Goals

The Effectiveness of Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment for Anxiety Disorders

Co-Dependency: An Issue of Control

The Pillars of the Self-Concept: Self-Esteem and Self-Efficacy

Catastrophe? Or Inconvenience?


Panic Assistance

Motivational Audios

Mindfulness Training

Rational Thinking

Relaxation for Children

Change Yourself--Don't Wait for the World to Change

Loving Kindness Meditation

Self-Esteem Exercise

Meadow Relaxation

Rainy Autumn Morning

Energizing Audios

Quick Stress Relief

Thinking Your Way to a Healthy Weight

Lies You Were Told

Choosing Happiness

Lotus Flower Relaxation

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

Kindle Books by Dr. Monica Frank


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

The Porcupine Effect: Pushing Others Away When You Want to Connect

What if You Considered Other Peoples' Views?

5 Common Microaggressions Against Those With Mental Illness

What to Expect from Mindfulness-based Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (MCBT) When You Have Depression and Anxiety

Does Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Lack Compassion? It Depends Upon the Therapist

When Needs Come Into Conflict

What to Do When Anger Hurts Those You Love

A Brief Primer On the Biology of Stress and How CBT Can Help

50 Tools for Panic and Anxiety

Coping With Change: Psychological Flexibility

Breaking Up is Hard to Do: Ending a Bad Relationship

I'm Depressed. I'm Overwhelmed. Where Do I Start?


Building Blocks Emotion Training

Hot Springs Relaxation

5 Methods to Managing Anger

Panic Assistance While Driving

Autogenic Relaxation Training

Rainbow Sandbox Mindfulness

Mindfulness Training

Riding a Horse Across the Plains

Cityscape Mindfulness

Change Yourself--Don't Wait for the World to Change

The Great Desert Mindfulness

Tropical Garden Mindfulness

Thinking Your Way to a Healthy Weight

Lies You Were Told

Probability and OCD

Choosing Happiness

Magic Bubbles for Children

Lotus Flower Relaxation

Cloud Castles for Children

Hot Air Balloon Motivation

All Audio Articles

PsychNotes February 2016

PsychNotes Index

Previous Month        Next Month

February 15, 2016       

Not Happy? Just Wait...

by Monica A. Frank, Ph.D.
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.

Become a fan on Facebook! Follow on twitter for site updates! Follow on Google+ for site updates!