I was miserable in my 30s. Then I turned 50, and I've never been happier—here's the No. 1 reason why
What if the secret to being happier was purely just to get older?
It sounds absurd, but at 63 years old, I can say that the last few decades have been a tale of two midlives: one very dark from my 30s- to -40s, and one truly splendid ... starting when I hit 50.
The No. 1 reason? My emotional intelligence increased. And, as I discovered while writing my book, "Learning to Love Midlife: 12 Reasons Why Life Gets Better with Age," high emotional intelligence is a crucial ingredient for boosting happiness and resilience.
Emotional intelligence, which is the capacity to understand and control our emotions, as well as being sensitive to others' feelings, nurtures our relationships and boosts our empathy.
This can lead to stronger social connections. And as we age, our social bonds become even more vital to our well-being. With higher emotional intelligence, you're also better equipped to grasp and empathize with the emotions of others, fostering deeper, more fulfilling relationships.
Here's how my emotional intelligence has grown since I've gotten older:
As I age, I've softened ... and not just around my belly. I experience less ego and more soul. I feel more deeply for others' life circumstances.
Fortunately, I am able to direct some of that increased compassion toward myself as well.
When I was younger, I had a kind of emotional vertigo; my emotions constantly made me feel imbalanced and uneasy. I didn't know how to dance with them. In fact, I often tried to outrun my emotions.
Today, I don't sweat the small stuff. I'm able to positively reappraise negative experiences, like getting stuck in traffic in an Uber (interpretation: great chance to meditate).
Simultaneously, my enhanced ability to recognize my patterns, habits, and