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Does happiness come with age?

Does happiness come with age
Does happiness come with age

Does happiness come with age? It seems so, according to one study. The production of oxytocin increases with age. Thus people become more affectionate and happy as they get older, mentions the journal Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience.

The study results in which you found the relationship between happiness and increasing age coincides with the premise of many beliefs and religions. It states that life satisfaction rises if you help others, he explained—Dr. Paul J. Zak, from Claremont Graduate University (United States).

The participants in this study who managed to release a higher level of oxytocin developed more remarkable generosity with the charity when they had the opportunity. It directly reflected this change in oxytocin in the individuals’ empathy and their religious involvement and appreciation of others.

What is oxytocin?

Oxytocin is a neurotransmitter that plays a significant factor in the relationship between social affection, generosity, and interpersonal trust. One of the main objectives of this study is to find out if the release of oxytocin undergoes changes with age, as is the case with other neurotransmitters, and how this influences feelings and attitudes.

Age and happiness

Older adults spend more time volunteering and donate a percentage of their income to works that benefit others. This is why Dr. Zack wanted to check if there is a neurochemical basis to explain this.

This study conducts among 100 people with ages ranging from 18 to 99 years. Someone showed these people a video about a child with cancer, and this video had the background of being worked on to generate the production of oxytocin in the viewer.

Blood samples were collected from the participants before and after watching the video to monitor the level of this neurotransmitter.

In the same way, the participants had the option of donating a part of their earnings from participating in the study to a foundation specialized in the fight against childhood cancer to observe their immediate prosocial behavior. They also collected data on their emotional states to record their level of life satisfaction.

People who released higher oxytocin levels were those who donated more significant amounts to the foundation, and they also developed other helpful attitudes towards others. Thus allowing oxytocin to be related to prosocial attitudes for the first time.

As a result of this experiment, it verifies that the production of oxytocin increases with age, reflected in life satisfaction.

Helping others seems to enlist the brain to release more oxytocin, thus creating a cycle of empathy and happiness.

Dr. Zack mentioned the intention of wanting to replicate this study among people from different parts of the world, as well as from various ethnic groups, to discover if this principle can be presented across cultures.

Another wish expressed by the doctor is the idea of placing non-invasive devices to carry out neurophysiological measurements and knowing what attitudes and actions increase over time among people.

And you, do you feel that you are happier with age?

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