Being middle-aged brings a great many demands – trying to juggle a career, friendships, a growing family and elderly parents.
So it’s tempting to believe that putting aside time to ourselves is the key to staying happy and content.
However, experts say responsibilities and interactions with others are what make our lives feel worthwhile. Over-50s are more likely to judge life worth living if they are married and see their friends at least once a week, a study has found.
Spending too much time on your own, or in front of the television, can make life feel less meaningful. Those who see their lives as worthwhile are more likely to be top earners and are less likely to be ill, depressed, obese or poor sleepers. Researchers at University College London questioned more than 7,000 people aged 50 to 90 on how meaningful they felt their life was.
Those who judged life most worthwhile were 16% more likely to be married and 13% less likely to live alone.
They were 13% more likely to see friends at least weekly, and much more likely to be a member of an organisation, from a church to a social club.
Those who felt their lives held least meaning spent almost twice as much time alone during the day – more than six hours on average. They spent 50 minutes more a day watching TV, according to the study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
© Daily Mail