What were your happiest years?
How happy do you feel at your current stage of life? If you're younger than 33, don't worry as your best days might be ahead of you.
In an unscientific study by U.K. social networking site Friends Reunited, adults over the age of 40 said that they only became "truly happy" at the age of 33.
According to the site's press release, over 53 per cent of respondents said 33 was their happiest year because it hit the sweet spot between a sense of optimism for the future and a relative stress-free life. Over a quarter of Brits surveyed said that by this age they were usually earning money and making ends meet on their own.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, 36 per cent said the happiest moment or moments in their life was having children. Twenty-one per cent cited reaching a certain level of success at work. Comparatively fewer respondents said their childhood or teenage years were their happiest, at 16 per cent each.
"While many of us look back and reminisce about our carefree childhood, it's also important to remember that it's the big life experiences and the momentous events that we go through that make us who we are," said Matt Bushby, head of Friends Reunited.
"The age of thirty-three is enough time to have shaken off childhood naivety and the wild scheming of teen-aged years without losing the energy and enthusiasm of youth," says psychologist Donna Dawson in the Friends Reunited press release.
"By this age innocence has been lost, but our sense of reality is mixed with a strong sense of hope, a 'can do' spirit, and a healthy belief in our own talents and abilities. We have yet to develop the cynicism and world-weariness that comes with later years."
It's worth noting that Friends Reunited, a London-based company that launched in 2000 and currently boasts more than 24 million users, is primarily for adults looking to reconnect with older friends and "remember all of their most cherished moments" -- so nostalgia might be as important to those who conducted the survey as those who were surveyed.
What factors determine the best times of your life? Do you feel your best years are ahead of you, or is it all downhill from here? Take our poll and share your thoughts in the comments section below.
(This survey is not scientific. Results are based on readers' responses.)
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