If you stopped and thought about it, would you say that your life in general has gradually increased or decreased in happiness during your 30’s and 40’s?
Although there has always been a spattering of happy moments, I would have to answer that in the main it has decreased. Life’s twists and turns have taken their toll, from financial pressures, parenting solo, finding and losing love more than once, moving houses and areas, starting over again and again and again.
It’s hard being human.
I’ve used the phrase ‘this too shall pass’ a lot. It has been some comfort and has reminded me to be mindful, rather than ruminating over past hurts, reacting to annoying people and feeling anxious about the future.
Research has explored the term ‘the happiness U curve.’
Studies have shown that life satisfaction starts to decrease from early adulthood and continues to do so until middle age, the nadir being in the mid 40’s and only then begins to rise again as you get older, thus the U curve analogy. The studies also showed that this was a universal phenomenon regardless of life circumstances or culture.
If this phenomenon does exist then can it be used as a reason why life can be a bit shit in our 40’s?
It feels real from my perspective. Perhaps this is the universes way to teach us our life lessons? A sort of long haul initiation ceremony to teach us to be a wise elder in the future?
I don’t think it’s all doom and gloom though, creative spirits can thrive in this space, myself included. Don’t we need some darkness to show up the light?
This blog is a platform to vent and share about life in this U bend in the hope of helping each other navigate through our ‘mid life’ and to raise up to the other side of the U bend; to the lighter, happier, more content side.