Last November Woody Allen turned seventy and lamented "Getting joy and having a kind of wisdom in your golden years--it's all tripe." Years on an analyst's couch never helped him grow up or even resist marrying his stepdaughter. Woody's remarks don't fit with recent research findings. Dr. Laura Carstensen at Stanford University had 184 people ages 18 to 94 carry pagers and fill out questionnaires when beeped. Older participants reported about the same number of positive emotions as younger participants but far fewer negative emotions. There was a clear trend from young adults to seniors.
Aging brought fewer negative thoughts. You could say people tend to outgrown depression.

The reasons for the change are speculative. Perhaps they have adjusted expectations and are not so hard on themselves. Perhaps they appreciate and savor life more. I like to think of it as more maturity. In any case, it's a nice perk that goes with aging.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Michael Brickey, America’s preeminent Anti-Aging Psychologist, teaches people to think, feel, look and be more youthful. He is an inspiring keynote speaker and Oprah-featured author. His works include: Defy Aging, 52 baby steps to Grow Young, and Reverse Aging (anti-aging hypnosis CDs. Visit for a free report on anti-aging secrets and his free Defy Aging Newsletter with practical anti-aging tips. Hear him interview leading anti-aging experts and/or read the interview transcripts with the anti-aging experts.

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