Early 50s Misery? Help Yourself to Happiness

You may be most miserable between the ages of 50 and 54, according to a study by a behavioural science professor at the London School of Economics.

His survey asked people how satisfied they were with their lives rather than how happy they felt.

But don’t think that reading a self-help book will help you get happy.

That’s the advice of study author Paul Dolan, even though he’s the author of a popular book, Happiness by Design that could be included in that genre.

‘It’s an explosive genre because they explain how you could feel but not how to achieve that,” says the behavioral scientist.

They don’t work – they merely encourage people to go and buy another self-help book, he told the Observer.

Nevertheless, he does offer some advice to, er, help youself feel better:

Don’t pay attention to how happy things make you.

Embrace the small pleasures of life.

Find things which make you feel good, then do more of them. For example, switching off your mobile phone, listening to music, going for walks or spending time with friends.

A long-term sustainable impact on your life can be achieved, but not by sitting about thinking if only I was slimmer, fitter, richer, then I would be happier. It’s not going to happen, so you’ll still be miserable.

Finally, remember that as you enter your late 50s, you emerge from the valley of misery and start climbing to the peak of happiness that’s reached, according to Professor Dolan, between the ages of 65 and 79.