In 10 seconds? Getting older? There is a reason to look on the bright side in one aspect. A longitudinal study conducted over 20 years has found that people report experiencing less stress as they age.

How did they find this out? As part of a national investigation into the US public’s long-term relationship with health and wellbeing, a subsample of participants aged 20-77 were followed to learn how their daily relationship with stress changed over time. The study found that over 20 years, adults on average reported an 11% reduction in the number of stressful days in their lives, going from about 3 days a week to 2, with the oldest adults (over 50s) experiencing 25% fewer than middle-aged adults and 38% fewer than the youngest adults (under 30s). Moreover, while the youngest adults initially reported the highest levels of reactivity to stress, they also experienced the greatest reduction – reporting a 47% decrease in the levels they experienced on stressful days. However, post age 54 this reactivity plateaued, meaning older adults remained the most stable overall.

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