According to recent research out of a Belgium university, happiness follows a U-shaped curve during a person’s lifetime.  This study showed that middle-aged people are the unhappiest.  Could this be the death of ambition and the beginning of the road to acceptance?

Young adults dream of the possibilities and have hopes for their future, while adults, past 50, have become better able to control their emotions, accept life’s trials and be satisfied with what they have in their life.

A few possible reasons many people suffer from the midlife blues is physical decline, loss of mental sharpness, focusing on past regrets and stress with being caught between raising children and looking after elderly parents.

What can you do to prevent mid-life unhappiness?  These are three ways to beat the midlife blues:

1 – Make your emotional & physical health the priority. You can do this by staying connected in meaningful relationships and doing more activities that you enjoy while cutting down on things you dislike.

2 – Celebrate your accomplishments vs. focusing on past regrets. Spending time wishing you were younger or consuming yourself with past regrets prevents you from enjoying the present moment. This part of life calls us to be more contemplative, calls us to be more reflective, and causes us to be more in the moment.

3 – Establish a new sense of adventure. This is a about changing the way you think. Instead of dreading each milestone, you can view that looming birthday as a rite of passage or a new adventure ahead. This can be the time for you to take that language class, get tennis lessons, or go back to school to get that degree you have dream about for years!

After all, research does show that enjoyment of life really begins in the upward trend in the late 40’s and does not peak until 85!  The older generations can also benefit from better health and opportunities than previous generations! So make a point today to do something positive for yourself emotionally or physically, take a moment to celebrate even something small and share with somebody special a new adventure you would like to take on and watch those blues fade away!

Author: Janie Lacy

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