Yup – just what we’ve always suspected: over 60s are the happiest Australians! It’s no surprise really but it’s now been proven with research from over 50,000 households.
The Alere Wellness Index survey has found that us over 60s are loving life and staying happy even as we become less fit and healthy as we age, whereas those in their 20s and 30s are experiencing more sadness and discontentment. But what is it that makes us the happiest demographic?
Survey respondents said that these four things were key to their happiest and fulfilment:
Life has gone quickly for some of us and slowly for others, but one thing is for sure: it has changed since we were younger, and we’ve had to learn to accept that. We’ve learnt that life is too short to worry about small things so instead we embrace who we are and who others are too. We accept reality and love ourselves for who we are and where we’ve been.
They don’t call us wise for no reason! We’ve had life experience and a lot of it. Our world has changed more in the last 50 years than it has in centuries and we have lived through it all. By our 60s, we have shed our ego and our self-centredness and instead have a deeper sense of self. We have independence and some may say we’re stuck in our ways but we are safe in our identity and believe the things we say. We say what we think and don’t hold back! If you want our honest advice, we’ll give it to you.
As we age, we tend to want only the more simple things in life and splash out occasionally on the odd holiday or nice thing for ourselves. Among them is safety and we love to feel safe and secure. Once we are, we’re delighted. Sometimes when we were working, we can feel emotionally unsafe or unsure due to a range of factors, but in retirement, we create our own safety. We also can independently think more so than our younger counterparts and this makes us feel more able and therefore happier.
If we own our own home (finally) or if we rent, we like to know we are secure and can afford to live comfortably. This is one part of happiness that we can get confused as we sometimes think that money can buy happiness when it is back to that basic thing where if we have a roof over our head and food in the fridge and cupboard, we can be happy. And if we don’t have that, that’s when we can be sad.
It goes to show that even against all odds, we can be happy and make do. We can be poor, sick or ‘old’ but we have our mind, our memories and our friends. And we have lost many things – friends, family, pets, jobs, money, houses, the lists goes on. But with this has come the invaluable lessons we have learnt and our obstacles have become our triumphs. Our suffering has illuminated what we do have in our lives…our life itself and the life we have created.
As the saying goes: “Getting older is hard – but it is better than the alternative”!
What is the best life lesson you have learnt? What makes you happiest? Tell us below.