Life autonomy is my topic today, but first let me fill you with cheer….. Not only is this the unhappiest stage of my life, but the future is bleak for me for at least another decade, during which time, it will become worse.
“You’re a laugh Adam” I hear you cry.
I know, I know, the opening sentence is just about as bleak as it gets, isn’t it? The sentence is accurate though according to the Office for National Statistics that has discovered that the years between the age of 50 and 54 are officially the most miserable with the most amount of dissatisfaction, and though it used to be the 40s, societal changes have led to us reaching our most miserable later on in life. However, the early 40s are the 3rd most miserable period and the late 40s are the second most miserable period. Thanks for that Office for National Statistics!
This is typically attributed to raising children along with issues at work (mainly career disappointment) and within the marriage. Society has meant that people are marrying and having children later in life and so this has nudged the dissatisfaction on later in life. Things do pick up greatly once you hit 60 according to the statistics with the happiest years being between the ages of 65 and 75. This is attributed to better levels of health in old age along with having wealth, regaining a sense of freedom to travel and pursue hobbies. And here is a picture of an elderly Gentleman taking a selfie and being happy to prove it…
Being in my early 40s then, I have at least another 15 years, though more like 20 years of abject misery and wishing my life away before I come through the other side and can crack a smile once again. To compound this, the Office for National Statistics also found that atheists (I am one such atheist) were less happy than any group with religious belief. I got married later in life, and my children are very young, with a lot of energy. It would seem that I am doomed.
An interesting thing though…. It is suggested that a positive attitude may also have a bearing on people being more satisfied later in life, as we tend to have a developed sense of wisdom and perspective with regards to set backs and so on. The Office for National Statistics suggested that having more free time was vital in such whereas those in the middle years have more demands placed upon their time and struggle to find balance.
With all of this rather damning evidence, why on earth am I so flipping cheerful each day? It’s just not right, I’m supposed to be in pain, staring pensively into space asking myself “is this it?” Why aren’t I? I revisited some of the other statistics that the national office provide…..
Statistically, married couples and civil partners reported the highest levels of happiness, and I am very happily married. Secondly, more than 72% of the population state that family is where they derive most of their life satisfaction. My kids and my extended family are awesome and we are very close all round. I also live in one of the areas of the UK that is statistically high for life satisfaction. Also, being fit and healthy statistically raises life satisfaction and my marathon and ultra marathon running escapades help somewhat with that I would imagine. If I examine the stats enough, I can find some light on the horizon for my life and start to consider that perhaps all is not lost for me for the next 20 years after all.
However, let’s just rewind a bit. The ONS say that attitude can influence and effect the enhanced satisfaction of those in their senior years. Why not learn how to adopt such an attitude now then? That way, instead of treading water, simply waiting for your 40s and 50s to pass, you get to enjoy life. The right attitude can help you perceive some of the challenges of those times in your life as joyful and fun even. Why not elect to do work that you enjoy – if you enjoy it and find it satisfying, it’ll contribute to less stress too too. You’ll get to engineer your time in a way that suits you along with all that.
Choose Life Autonomy:
Life autonomy is key. Having life autonomy does not just mean you get to make choices about how you run your life in practical terms, but on emotional and psychological terms too. We may not be able to We all have ultimate control over the way we think and therefore how we feel. We get to choose how we ‘show up’ each and every day, we decide who and how we are, we are not passive recipients of life. You see, I think these statistics represent the people who are passive recipients of life. Typically when you let life happen to you, you become a statistic, a cog in the machine – yeah, right on brother and sisters – whereas, when you start to create life, invent and reinvent your existence, choose how you act and react and behave and make decisions on how you do things, because you want to, not because you just have to or are obliged to, you become less of a cog and become less of a statistic. Have more life autonomy, choose it.
Dear Office for National Statistics, I refute what you say and you are not welcome around here anymore. I’m off to paint over your grey painting with a rainbow or something like that…. Though for now, it’ll probably be a very messy mixed paint, brownish, finger painted rainbow with my 2year old daughter and 4 year old who will be wearing a Princess Dress and Star Wars outfit while insisting I wear an incredible Hulk mask…. But it’ll be a rainbow all right.
Go and live a better life than the stats suggest…… Develop more life autonomy.
Learn more about encouraging happiness:
Being Positive: Creating a Happiness Filter Using Self-Hypnosis
Have some of themes here resonated with you? Then have a read of these pages:
1. Do you need help or support in a particular area of your life? Need to learn to have life autonomy?
Coaching with Adam Eason Or Hypnotherapy with Adam Eason
2. Would you like a satisfying and meaningful career as a hypnotherapist helping others have more life autonomy? Are you a hypnotherapist looking for stimulating and career enhancing continued professional development and advanced studies?
Adam Eason’s Anglo European training college.
3. Are you a hypnotherapist looking to fulfil your ambitions or advance your career?
Hypnotherapist Mentoring with Adam Eason.
Likewise, if you’d like to learn more about self-hypnosis, understand the evidence based principles of it from a scientific perspective and learn how to apply it to many areas of your life while having fun and in a safe environment and have the opportunity to test everything you learn, then come and join me for my one day seminar which does all that and more, have a read here: The Science of Self-Hypnosis Seminar. Alternatively, go grab a copy of my Science of self-hypnosis book. Self-hypnosis can help you to develop life autonomy too, in a number of ways.
The ONS gave me the perfect excuse for being a miserable pain in the arse and now you’ve gone and spoilt it.
Ah dammit, sorry about that Peter 🙂
Lovely hearing from you, best wishes to you, Adam.