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HEALTH REPORT - For Lots of People, Getting Older Means Getting Happier

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96-year-old Emilie, left, and 97-year-old Otto Kahl have been married 75 years. The German couple smiles warmly.
96-year-old Emilie, left, and 97-year-old Otto Kahl have been married 75 years. The German couple smiles warmly.

This is the VOA Special English Health Report.

Old age may not sound exciting. But recent findings offer good news for older people and for people worried about getting older.

Researchers found that people become happier and experience less worry after they reach the age of fifty. In fact, they say by the age of eighty-five, people are happier with their life than they were when they were eighteen years old.

The findings came from a survey of more than three hundred forty thousand adults in the United States. The Gallup Organization questioned them by telephone in two thousand eight. At that time, the people were between the ages of eighteen and eighty-five.

The researchers asked questions about emotions like happiness, sadness and worry. They also asked about mental or emotional stress.

Arthur Stone in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science at Stony Brook University in New York led the study. His team found that levels of stress were highest among adults between the ages of twenty-two and twenty-five.

The findings showed that stress levels dropped sharply after people reached their fifties.

Happiness was highest among the youngest adults and those in their early seventies. The people least likely to report feeling negative emotions were those in their seventies and eighties.

The study also showed that men and women have similar emotional patterns as they grow older. However, women at all ages reported more sadness, stress and worry than men.

The findings appeared in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Researchers say they do not know why happiness increases as people get older. One theory is that, as people grow older, they grow more thankful for what they have and have better control of their emotions. They also spend less time thinking about bad experiences.

Professor Stone says the emotional patterns could be linked to changes in how people see the world, or maybe even changes in brain chemistry.

The researchers also considered possible influences like having young children, being unemployed or being single. But they found that influences like these did not affect the levels of happiness and well-being related to age.

And that's the VOA Special English Health Report, written by Brianna Blake. Tell us what you think about the relationship between happiness and age. You can post comments on our website, www.unsv.com, or on Facebook and Twitter at VOA Learning English. I'm Barbara Klein.

网友的学习评论(23条):
作者:jingjing
i agree the idea that young people have highist stress.i think my mother and father is happiness .because theirs child is grow up .so they can do things that they enjoy.i wish they can happiness away.
作者:Jenet
every one will get old ,and i wish that the day i am old also happy
作者:judy
As people grow older ,they grow more thankful for what thay have and have better control of their emotions.
作者:Evan
now my parents at their sixties, but they worry about my marriage.
作者:hunter
in china, it's quite diffrent,
作者:Daisy
I agree with the article viewpiont, I also think the elder is happier than the younger. so I wish our younger can happy everyday.
作者:Jennysun1984
I agree with the researchers' opinion that olders have less stress than youngers.
作者:ryan
Yes, elder is easy to get happiness, that is because they grow more thankfull for what they have and have better control of their emotions, in contrast, young people at twenty age group, they stand of the stress of revenue, such as: house / wife / childrens' eduction etc.
作者:kitty
Right, the elder almost has nothing to worry:their's heat is full, their's mental is well. They experenced every thing when they were youny. In their time of old, they only need to feel the happiness of life, so they are happier than younyers.
作者:juncool
a
作者:wonderful
when you become older and older,you have knew a lot of things.you can control your emotions.if something makes you unhappy,you can adjust yourself.but young people can not do this.they do what they want and never think about the results.so there are always regrets for them.i think that is the reason why people increase happiness as people get older
作者:juncool
i donot think it is suit for everyone .Different country have different situation.some people may become anxious and helpless when they are older.Especially in China,as is known to all,chinese old people who live in countryside almost have any guarantee and insurance.What’s worse ,if they have no son or unfilial son they would have very rough life.
作者:eggplant
our parents have been busy for so many years,they should have a relaxed old age.And I'm sure, if we work hard,we can have a happy old age ,too.
作者:WingCheung
Having listened to this article,I think happiness is everywhere,it isn't related to ages,the main point is what you think happiness is.But as we know,nowadays,more and more adults are getting worried and stressable becase of mountains of works,but why don't they spare some time for relaxing?
作者:Coco
When seeing the title , I think of the growing up of me . Today is my twentes birthday. growing older means i must have more responsibilities .
作者:Belinda
I hope I can grow to ninety and keep fit and happy!
作者:Fanny
The people who are old are more happpier is because they have finished what they should do in their earlier age.Undoutedly during this period, there are many difficulties or tough things, and these their offsprings should also meet. It is just a kind of metempsychosis.
Wish everyone happy here.
作者:shian
i agree with the article that the olders grow happiness and get thankful for what they have. my parentes are at their seventies, and they enjoy their lives.and they would do anything that they wish.
作者:dronma
I agree with the people when we will get oldder, then we should know how could we expet those thankful for what we have and have better control of our emotions. We also spend less time thinking about bad experiences.
作者:lory
I do not agree with this passage. In my village I often see many old people feel sad and lonely and they worry a lot about their familes.
作者:Black Angel
Different country have different conditions.In my opinion, a great deal of old ages in our country don't have enouge well-being in their life . Most of them live a poor life and empty mental life.
作者:yuanqiou098
Well.I'm just too young to see this.I don't know what I'll become when I grow up.But I have seen many TV programs of the Chinese.It shows that old people argue more often in their sixties.And men cannot control their self at sixties too.I'm not sure about this.Maybe,our custom is different from the USA and that cause the difference between the people.
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