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Paper Monitor

15:52 UK time, Monday, 12 March 2012

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

Paper Monitor subscribes to the old adage that "you are as young as you feel". But it did have more than a passing interest in a story in today's newspapers that suggests that our personal happiness increases once we pass the age of 45.

According to researchers at the University of Warwick, happiness levels throughout life form a U-curve, dipping to its lowest point in the mid-forties and climbing back up again after that.

Paper Monitor thinks that all that dipping and climbing sounds a bit exhausting - but onwards and upwards, to borrow from another cliche.

"The caricature of the grumpy old man as personified by misery guts sitcom character Victor Meldrew may not be that true-to-life after all," the Daily Mail reports.

According to the researchers, while the physical quality of life goes down, our mental satisfaction increases.

The headline in the Daily Telegraph interprets it as "getting older makes us happier, because we give up on our dreams".

According to the researchers, happiness might increase because we have developed "better coping abilities" to deal with hardship than younger people. The Telegraph states in its comment section:

This will be comforting for many of us, but how do you explain this apparent paradox? The researchers believe the older you are, the better you are able to cope when faced with the vicissitudes of everyday life. They also think that older people have lower expectations than the young and therefore don't push themselves so hard in either their personal or professional lives. All true, no doubt. But surely it's also the case that the older you get, the more likely you are to forget what's making you grumpy.

The Times, in its Times 2 section runs a feature entitled: "What to expect when you're 40". The author Emily King - who confesses to being 45 - laments the fact that there is no life-guide that warns about the road ahead. She would, she says, have appreciated something in the same vein as vein as the antenatal manual What to Expect when you are Expecting - WTEWY40.

With a little help from her friends King compiles her own quick guide.

Along with the obvious physical things, such as "force of gravity" and "lack of elasticity", there are issues such as "wittering" and "getting stuck in your ways". But Paper Monitor's favourite comes under a column called cultural. Under the sub-head "invisibility", the author writes:

A bit painful, but accounts range from being overlooked in the street to being written off in social and professional situations. In response, I will offer the only quick fix allowed in WTEWY40; go to Paris for a few days! You are never too old to be leered at in the French capital.

I'll get my mac.

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