Your future is statistically more likely to be better than your past

Another fantastic article by Arthur C. Brooks for The Atlantic which draws on research about how your future is likely to be happier than your past. That’s because of various psychological effects that come into play as you age.

Good news! I’m particularly looking forward to my anxiety tamping down and not being as triggered by negative situations.

A surreal image depicting an abstract figure, made of clock hands and gears, standing at the edge of a cliff. The sky transitions from light gray at the horizon to deep blue at the top. The ground is a mosaic of calendar pages, some fluttering in the wind.
Let’s start with how you will feel when you are old. By this, I don’t mean whether your back will hurt more (it almost certainly will), but rather the balance between your positive and negative moods as you age. The answer is probably better than you feel now.


A 2013 review of research reveals that older people develop at least three distinct emotional skills: They react less to negative situations, they are better at ignoring irrelevant negative stimuli than they were when younger, and they remember more positive than negative information. This is almost like a superpower many older people have, that they know negative emotions won’t last so they get a head start on feeling good by consciously disregarding bad feelings as they arise.


If you follow the typical development, you can expect to be nicer and kinder, and less depressed and anxious, when you are old.


The good news about aging is that if we simply leave things to the passage of time, life will probably get better for us. But we can do more than just wait around to get old. We can lean into the natural improvements and manage any trends we don’t like.

Source: How to Be Happy Growing Older | The Atlantic

Image: DALL-E 3