Want to be happy? All you need to do is live a long time.

A new study confirms what many of our older friends already know: Happiness levels rise right alongside the years.

Researchers speaking in August at the annual convention of the American Psychological Association said several recent studies all show that older folks have better control of their emotions and are better at avoiding stress.

One researcher said that older people may be more aware of how much time they have left, and want to make the most of it. I don't know if that's the real reason, or if age simply makes people wise and more content with themselves and what they've learned and earned over a lifetime. Alternatively, these results could speak volumes about how if you are always upset you may cut years off your life.

But regardless of the reason, the real goal should be getting there – so you can experience that happiness firsthand and not just read about it in some online newsletter.

So if the real secret to happiness is longevity, then the real road to happiness is good health. You won't make it there if you don't take good care of yourself mentally and physically.

That means first and foremost eating the right things. People tend to forgot how closely intertwined health and diet are, but the two go hand-in-hand. You won't make it far down that road to longevity if you fill yourself with garbage, including the junk that pretends to be healthy food.

There's no state secret to a good diet – you don't need to follow complex instructions, participate in a silly fad or hire a meal planner. Just stick to basic, natural foods – things that will rot if they sit too long, and avoid carbs and processed foods.

That means fresh meats and organic veggies should be at the heart of your diet, and anything that comes in a can, bag or box should sit in the basement for use in case of a disaster. That's about the only time I can think of when it might make sense to eat this garbage.

Treat your body well, and in turn it will reward you with a long life. Live long enough, and you'll be rewarded with the happiness that comes with the wisdom of age.