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"According to socioemotional selectivity theory, emotions become more salient for older adults, and older adults prioritize activities, including social interactions, along emotional lines to a greater extent than younger adults. In doing so, they are using emotional coping skills acquired over their life span, whereby potentially negative interactions are avoided and positive ones are maintained. This avoidance of negative affect may be one reason why older adults report that they are better able to control their emotions, because they are constructing environments that promote well-being. In addition, lower physiological arousal in response to emotional events may have a beneficial effect for the experience and control of negative affect across the life span, such that lower levels of physiological arousal result in less arousal (i.e., lower emotional surgency) that needs to be modulated and controlled. (Charles,, 2001)"

In other words - as we grow older we develop more experience dealing with emotional events, and we become less emotionally reactive than when we are younger. It is also true that we have spent much of our lives constructing environments (such as home and family) that support us emotionally. All of these factors lilkely play a role in the decrease in negative emotions as we age.

Reference: Charles, Susan Tuck; Reynolds, Chandra A & Gatz, Margaret. Age-Related Differences and Change in Positive and Negative Affect Over 23 Years. Journal of Personality and social Psychology, 2001; 80: 136-151