The Happiness Curve

When was the last time you felt really happy?

According to a 2011 report, i’m in the midst of the unhappiest years of my life!

The Happiness Curve shows a huge dip after 25 years of age, with the lowest point at round 45 years.

Not surprisingly, the Australian Bureau of Statistics reports that in 2012, the average age for divorce in Australia, was around 45 years old. Coincidence? I think not.

So what happens in the years leading up to this trough?

Marriage… career… kids… mortgage. All huge things on their own. Let alone when you throw them into the same decade.

The leader of another, similar study, Dr Saverio Stranges, believes that happiness may increase with age because we develop ‘better coping abilities’ to deal with hardship than younger people.

‘It could also be due to a lowering of expectations from life, with older people less likely to put pressure on themselves in the personal and professional spheres.’

My goal is to buck the trend. To flatten out that smile and thrive during this season.

Here are my tips for happy, thriving mums:
1. One of the greatest gifts you can give yourself (and your kids) is a happy marriage. The grass is greenest where you water it so make sure you invest in each other with ‘date nights’ and finding ways to make any time, quality time!

2. A good night’s sleep is a rare and beautiful thing. Make it a priority. It has incredible health & wellbeing benefits. I maintain that I can take on the world after a good night’s sleep.

3. Be grateful for what you have. Research shows that gratitude is a powerful force for increasing your overall health & wellbeing.

4. Get out more. Studies show that the family that plays together, stays together. Getting out amongst nature makes you happier and even nicer to be around.

5. Make time for time out. Whether it’s a long bath after the kids are in bed, or a quiet coffee on the veranda while the kids enjoy a play date with granny & pop. Just 15 minutes alone each day (and how rare is that these days – can I get an Amen!) increases your ability to cope with life and enjoy it more.

6. Help others. If you’re feeling down, getting your hands dirty is a great way to lift your spirits. Get amongst it with your local church or community group.

7. Remember, the small things aren’t ‘small things:’
One of the most disturbing movies I’ve ever seen is ‘Click’ – starring Adam Sandler. It completely took me by surprise. I went to see it with my mother-in-law not long after I was married, expecting a light hearted laugh (hey, it’s Adam Sandler!) and it has haunted me ever since. Anyone who’s unhappy with their life MUST watch this movie. Adam plays a guy who wants to ‘fast forward’ through all the BLAH stuff to get to the good bits in his life. What he didn’t realise is that the boring stuff, the tough stuff, the sad stuff, the tricky stuff is some of what makes life beautiful. This clip still makes me teary. Do yourself a favour and rent it out for your next date night.

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