Recent government data shows that stress and anxiety will affect most of us in one way or another during our lifetimes, with stress growing steadily through our 20s to 40s and then beginning to reduce dramatically in the over-50s.
To discover some of the reasons for this we spoke to a group of active over-50s about stress and relaxation.
WELL-BEING OVER TIME
The chart below shows government data highlighting how people feel about their mental health at different stages throughout their lives. They were asked to rate
Overall life satisfaction,
How worthwhile they feel the things they do are,
Their happiness the previous day, and
Their anxiety on a scale from 1-10.
The percentage of people who answered very positively (9-10 i.e. very satisfied with life, very low anxiety) was then combined across the 4 data points and broken down by age group. The results can be seen below, highlighting that these issues surrounding mental well-being tend to come to a head around the 40s and then see an improvement in the following years.
We spoke with a group of active over-50s who are part of the social group Golden Years. Run by volunteers based in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, Golden Years members regularly do activities such as walking over the O2, attending Royal Ascot and abseiling.
Speaking to a few of their members and volunteers at their latest outing to London’s iconic biker café, Ace Café, we asked if they feel less stressed now than they used to, if there’s anything they wished they had worried less about when they were younger, and what they do to keep relaxed. We also asked if they had any advice for younger people who may be experiencing a time of high anxiety and low life satisfaction.