The golden years can be an amazing time of life. Striving for happiness is one of the best things a senior can do. According to a long-term study, happy seniors have less trouble dressing, taking a shower and getting up, while unhappy seniors are twice as likely to develop cancer, diabetes, heart disease and strokes. Clearly, being happy is a crucial part of living the healthiest life possible, especially as you grow older. To help, happiness tips, tricks and resources are outlined below.
Keep People Close
People who stay well-connected with others have been shown to exhibit protective health effects, staying healthier in their old age than others who are isolated. For instance, a study found that seniors who were social for hours at a time daily were less likely to be stressed or worried and experienced overall more happiness and enjoyment of life.
Spending time with others can help people feel more connected, and less prone to feelings of loneliness, which may increase rates of depression and other illnesses. Interacting with at least one person every day is important. If you are single, widowed or divorced, you could always join a club that interests you or consider dating.
Find Your Exercise
Exercise has been shown to significantly improve the health and happiness of people, especially as they age. Exercise can help improve physical well-being, including keeping joints limber and body flexible. Joint problems and stiffness in the body are two of the most annoying and potentially dangerous ways that bodies can age. So, the best thing to do is to stay as active as possible, in order to waylay those symptoms.
Of course, not every form of exercise is going to be right for you. Find one that works for you and your lifestyle, whether it be doubles tennis, swimming, yoga or whatever else. If you haven’t been exercising, don’t worry. A Harvard study has shown that even light workouts, even if you didn’t exercise before, can reduce your chances of getting disabled by 25%.
Another key point to keeping your body healthy and happy is by watching what you eat. As your body ages, you need to make sure it is getting the proper nutrients, some of which may be different than what you needed as a younger person. For example, elderly people often take calcium and magnesium supplements, although you should talk to your doctor first.
Other things to keep in mind are that you should always drink plenty of water and eat high-fiber (whole foods, fruits, nuts and vegetables) as well as lean protein. If you can’t get to a store or can no longer carry the heavy bags, there are now services which can deliver the groceries right to your home. Also, don’t forget to eat with others, friends or family, to keep from feeling isolated. Plus, a meal is always better when shared.
Did you know that laughing can actually make your life happier? It does so by lowering the stress hormone cortisol. Also, a study found that 20 minutes watching funny videos helped improve elder memory. Also, potential links have been found between happiness and lower heart illness risk. So, make sure to laugh as much as you can, whether with loved ones or at funny movies or video clips.
Plan for the Future
Many seniors may feel stressed about their future. In order to relieve that stress and make sure they will be cared for, plans for the future need to be made. Whether it is planning for retirement, speaking with an attorney about elder law benefits or planning goals to strive for in the future, outlining a plan of action can take away a lot of accumulated stress about an unknown future.
Find a Support Group
As times change, it can be very stressful. In order to maintain as much happiness as possible, find a support group. This could be family, friends or even individuals who are at the same life stage and want to share what they’re going through.
Support groups don’t necessarily have to meet in basement therapy sessions; they come in all shapes and sizes. Support groups can go on hikes together, visit museums and go for park picnics. There’s no need to put off finding a good support group that works for you when there are so many types. The knowledge that you are not alone can be incredibly powerful and help you to feel happier about where you are and the life you have. It can also help you make meaningful connections. Having support structures in place for when you feel low is one of the best ways you can move forward and be truly happy.
We hope that these tips have helped give you some good ideas for being happier and healthier in old age. Everyone deserves to be happy, no matter their age.