RosZie (2022, September 14). Pixabay. https://pixabay.com/de/illustrations/senioren-seniorenheim-altenpflege-7451918/
Happiness vs. Life Satisfaction
Source of content: Courtney, A. (2023, April 26). Life Satisfaction Theory & 4 Contributing Factors (+ Scale). Positive Psychology. https://positivepsychology.com/life-satisfaction/
Source of image: Mohamed_hassan (2017, September 20). Pixabay. https://pixabay.com/de/vectors/alt-mann-gehen-anzug-binden-2769666/
📈 The shape of happiness over the life
❓ How does happiness develop over a life time - what do you think?
The correct answer is:
Happiness is lowest when we are between 40-50 (u-shape)
The journey of happiness
The fact that happiness isn’t that stable can been seen when looking at the shape of happiness over the life. It follows a u shape:
Qu, L., & de Vaus, D. (2015). Life satisfaction across life course transitions. Journal of the Home Economics Institute of Australia, 22(2), 15-27. https://doi/10.3316/informit.596482806333229 (https://aifs.gov.au/research/research-reports/life-satisfaction-across-life-course-transitions)
But why is mid-life so though for us?
We start to realize that life ends at some point. Maybe we loose someone we love or we experience first physical deficits.
We see first signs of aging for instance loosing muscle mass and strength.
Some of us may have some regrets for instance a not taken opportunity or a wrong decision.
On top of our own concers we may also have expectations coming from our families, work and sometimes the care for parents starts which again shows us life is short.
NYU Stern. (2019, May 15). The Algebra of Happiness by Prof. Scott Galloway - Author Lecture Series [Video]. Youtube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-gfEjOgxBfI
Stein, G. (2015, January 18). Changes in life satisfaction in adults as they age. Dr. Gerald Stein. https://drgeraldstein.wordpress.com/tag/changes-in-life-satisfaction-in-adults-as-they-age/
🧬 Life expectancy correlates with life satisfaction
The report of Ortiz-Ospina and Roser is looking at data about happiness and life satisfaction. One of their research topics is the influence of life satisfaction on health.
But we need to highlight possible bias as well:
Many of the countries with a high life expectancy have good economies, health care systems and education levels.
These factors could influence life satisfaction. Further studies need to investigate that.
Ortiz-Ospina, E. & Roser, M (2013). Happiness and Life Satisfaction. Our World in Data. https://ourworldindata.org/happiness-and-life-satisfaction#citation
⚖️ Everything in life is relative - so is happiness?
This question was examined in the study of Brickman and colleagues. They observed lottery winners, accident victims (with paralysis) and controls and how their level of happiness changed.
🧐 Methods - Assessment of happiness:
- Participants were asked to rate their current level of happiness
- Additionally, they were asked to rate their level of happiness before winning (for the lottery group), before the accident (for the victim group), or 6 months ago (for the control group).
- Lastly, each group was asked to rate their anticipated level of happiness in a couple of years.
Task: Take a moment and analyze the table yourself. You will find some results below.
- Accident victims and controls showed significant differences in their ratings of both past and present happiness.
- Accident victims recalled their past as being happier compared to controls, which can be described as a nostalgia effect, while perceiving their present as less happy than controls.
- It is worth noting, however, that the paraplegic individuals' rating of present happiness still falls above the midpoint of the scale, and the accident victims did not appear as unhappy as might have been expected.
☀️ Takeaways Happiness and Life Satisfaction
- Happy people live longer
- Happiness follows a u-shape
- We adapt to extraordinary events of happiness
- Be aware that challenges will arise, but better times are coming
RoadLight (2020, October 05). Pixabay. https://pixabay.com/de/illustrations/mädchen-frauen-sammeln-alte-frau-5625254/
🏁 Goals: Happiness and Life Satisfaction
This space is for your personal goals setting.
💡 How it works
The aim is for you to think of at least 2 goals that are in line with the main questions below.
After you have written down your personal goals, you should think of at least one task for each goal that you want to achieve this month.
At the end of the month, you can evaluate your actions and goals using the template.
Below you will find some examples and ideas
The main questions are: What makes you happy? What satisfies you in life?
- Write down at least 2 goals
- Write down at least one to-do for every goal
- Evaluate your success after one month
1. Your goals
💡 Some ideas:
🎉 Congratulations you finished the first of four sections of “Well-Aging: Embracing a good life”
Move on to “The power of love” 🚀