When you imagine yourself getting older, you'd probably think that you'd feel either sad due to regrets or empty because the mental deterioration you may experience. But according to a study on NBCNews.com, the older you get, the better you feel about yourself.

For the Successful AGing Evaluation Study (SAGE), researchers from the University of California, San Diego, and Stanford University recruited around 1,006 older adults from ages 50 to 90 who weren't terminally ill, but who weren't necessarily healthier than most people their age. They were interviewed via phone and were also asked to answer detailed questionnaires about aging.

The results were surprising--in spite of their declining physical and mental prowess, older adults feel better about their lives in general. When asked to rank how well they aged from one to ten (10 being the highest), the average score was 8.2, and the rankings grew higher as people got older.

Gordon Shields, a 94-year-old participant who also became a cycling champion after 50, thinks that aging is just part of life.

"You can enjoy aging as long as you accept it," he says.

One reason as to why older adults feel happier in spite of their physical decline is that they have already been through so many experiences that they tend to take negative trifles in stride. They also focus more on the present, which helps them retain a bright outlook.

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(Photo by Dmitry Barsky via Flickr Creative Commons)

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