The older you get, the happier you are?

A study has found a linear relationship between old age and happiness. That is, the older you get, the happier you are.

Despite the deterioration of the body and the whole array of health and mental problems as people age, happiness increases.  The linear relationship means that people in their 90s are happier than they were in their 80s, and in their 70s than in their 60s, etc.  The biggest miseries are in young adulthood, the supposed prime of life.

I can relate to this.  Consider the stress involved in trying to find someone to marry, in trying to find a job, in raising children, in trying to find success in one’s career.  Older people are on the other side of all that.

But the continual growth in happiness in the post-retirement decades, that’s a mystery, and no doubt a gift.

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Happiness vs. Freedom?

In a description of his new book, The Intolerable God, author Christopher J. Insole tells about a central struggle in the philosopher Immanuel Kant:  the conflict between happiness and freedom.

Now this sounds strange to American ears.  Surely, freedom is essential to happiness.  But Kant relates the issue to God.  Here is how Insole describes Kant’s dilemma:

We need God if we are to hope for happiness, as Kant thinks we must. We also need freedom, in a strong sense, in order to be moral. God must withdraw for this freedom to be possible. But if God withdraws, happiness can no longer be attained.

Read about this after the jump.  How would you resolve this dilemma?  I offer some thoughts myself. [Read more…]

Whether or not we kick the football

The Peanuts Movie currently in  theaters is a critical and commercial hit, and it brings back to mind the genius of cartoonist Charles Schulz.  I stumbled upon a great quotation from Schulz–a devout Christian–about humor, happiness, grace, and faith. [Read more…]

The happiest parents have four or more kids

An Australian family has found that the happiest parents are those with four or more children. [Read more…]

How to be happy?

Happiness is not all it’s cracked up to be.  And happiness is not the test of faith or a sign of being right with God.  Having said that, it’s interesting that the Mayo Clinic has completed a big study of human happiness.  See some details after the jump. [Read more…]

Life’s happiness as a U-shaped curve

When you’re a child, you are happy, but you become less so during your teenage years.  Then you get more and more miserable.  But in your 40’s you bottom out.  Then you keep getting happier.  When you are old, you are happier than you ever have been.  Not only that, the older you get, the happier you become.

The level of happiness in your life can be graphed as a U-shaped curve.  That’s the pattern documented in a recent study.  And it seems to apply, with variations, to every culture studied.  With one exception:  Russia, in which happiness keeps going down until the age of 91, which few Russians reach. [Read more…]