SOS: Day 63
The secret to being happy.
A March 2010 study reveals the key to happiness. And it’s something available to everyone.
All you have to do is get old.
It turns out that men and women find happiness once they’re over the age of fifty. Who woulda thunk it? Here we are, losing muscle, gaining fat, lips wrinkling, eyes bagging, knees and hips getting replaced, hair graying, one disease or another on the horizon, friends passing away…
Why on earth should that make us happy? (Hair growth on one’s chin and nipples touching belly button is not my idea of bliss.)
Researchers can’t explain it, but a large poll, which included phone interviews of 340,847 people confirms it.
Apparently, here’s how it goes: most people start out pretty happy at the age of eighteen, but then feel progressively lousier until they’re fifty.
Then all of a sudden, the trend reverses.
By the time you’re eighty-five, according to the data, you’ll be even more satisfied with yourself than you were as a teenager. Worries peak when you’re middle-aged, but then decrease. Sadness peaks at fifty, goes down until you hit seventy-three, and then rises a little. Enjoyment and happiness tank till you’re fifty, then rise for the next twenty-five years.
The poll looked at individuals 18-85.
The results, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, mean that young habithackers have something to look forward to, and old habithackers are hitting their groove.
So what should SOSer’s take from this? Get yourself in shape, my friends, so you can fully enjoy the good years: 50 to 85.
SOS Month 3
What to do so far:
Get in shape, knowing that (statistically) your best years are ahead of you.
Hope you did well on the quiz from yesterday. All these topics were covered in previous SOS posts. Remember, you can always redo Months 1 and 2, which repeat every month.
The best single predictor of weight loss is how many days per week you write down what you eat. True.
Amazingly, this is true. I wonder how many of you have been able to keep up with your food diaries. It’s tough, I know. If you’re having trouble, either try taking photos of your food with your cell phone, or test out one of the free online food tracking services such as Sparkpeople.
The fat gram content of a handful of nuts has been shown to raise cholesterol. False.
False. As we’ve learned, eating nuts (a reasonable amount) actually lowers cholesterol levels. Go figure. It’s nutty.
Those who walk with dogs are more likely to stick with a walking program. True.
Middle-aged women who are normal weight can prevent weight gain by exercising a half hour five times per week. False.
Sadly, sadly false. Women who want to stick with their pre-middle-aged diets must exercise an hour a day seven days a week…or exercise for half that time at high intensities.
Women who drink–even moderately–are more likely to gain pounds. False.
Once again, strangely, women who drink moderately are more likely to keep off pounds.
A recent government panel on cancer found that it’s not necessary for Americans to spend extra money to get organic food. False.
The report shocked everyone, because these panels are notoriously conservative in their recommendations. The panel expressed grave concerns about American’s chemical intake and suggested we all buy organic when possible.
Getting angry is good for your health because in the aftermath, endorphins are released. False.
Scientific studies show the biochemistry of anger is bad for your health.
Losing sleep tends to cause weight loss. False.
Getting a phone call from a computer helps individuals stick to an exercise program. True.
I can’t imagine why this would be true, but it shows the power of feeling that someone (even a computerized phonecall) is watching what you do.