We've Learned to Avert Our Eyes
Several recent studies have shown that the older we get, the happier we get. Far from turning into crotchety old coots and crones who complain about aches and pains and "kids today," we are apparently pretty much basking in the glow of our golden years and relishing this time of our lives.
But why? A team of researchers led by Derek M. Isaacowitz of the Department of Psychology at Northeastern University in Boston has come up with a startlingly simple answer: With age, we have figured out that paying attention to upsetting sights does nothing but depress us. In the study, entitled "Mood Regulation in Real Time: Age Differences in the Role of Looking," the researchers compared young adults with older adults regarding whether or not they fixed their gazes on unpleasant visuals or turned away. Almost without fail, the elder and wiser participants preferred what the scientists termed "positive looking." The authors, who published their study in the journal Current Directions in Psychological Science, claim that this tendency among older people to look at what is pleasant rather than at what is disturbing has a "causal relationship" with a subsequent good mood.
That does make sense. So if you find that you no longer rubberneck an auto accident or that you switch the channel when gruesome news photos show up on your TV screen or that you flip past the grisly details of some horrific crime on an Internet site, you may be doing your emotions a big favor. Like others in the "Boomers and Beyond" cohort, you may have learned that dwelling on ills that you can't correct serves only to darken your spirit while looking at beautiful or cheerful sights gives you a lift that makes live more worth living.>a href="http://forums.thirdage.com/threads/happy-boomers.1307/"> Click here to comment