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8 Strategies for Finding Happiness in Your Senior Years

Author:

Tim Truzy is a rehabilitation counselor, educator, and former dispatcher from North Carolina.

As people age, they often develop approaches on living to remain happy, such as exercising.

As people age, they often develop approaches on living to remain happy, such as exercising.

Growing Older

Growing old can present challenges, but happiness can be achieved in the later years. Although experiencing declines physically and mentally can take a toll on people psychologically, several approaches can be used to mediate the transition from middle age to the golden years. Research has suggested developing a positive perspective on old age can be beneficial in reducing the occurrence of some age-related diseases. For these reasons, learning strategies to cope with the changes of the twilight years are rewarding.

Eight Strategies for Finding Happiness in Your Senior Years

I’ve worked with older adults as a counselor, and these are some approaches we explored. These strategies are not exclusive and should be applied based on the needs, abilities, and resources available to you.

1. Exercising

Some studies have shown that exercise can benefit older individuals physically, mentally, and socially. They may engage in dance or simply take walks together. Some older individuals may spend time at a pool, like shown in the photo, to relax and swim.

2. Discovering or Renewing Interests in Similar Activities

After you retire opportunities may present themselves which were not there before. With the change in physical and other attributes, you may not be able to do the same activities. However, people who are older learn to transfer their skills and lifetime of experience to new and/or similar pursuits to maintain or obtain a level of happiness. For instance, a carpenter may decide to spend time learning about new tools. A librarian may decide to collect coins. The essential knowledge and skills developed over a lifetime of employment are put to work in a different way in this strategy. You may wish to do the same.

3. Staying Active Cognitively

Research has shown the brain can grow neurons into old age. Having hobbies such as photography, sewing, or writing also enhances positive feelings while keeping the brain stimulated. Some individuals who are elderly may join bird watching groups or form clubs to stay engage with others and maintain a good outlook on life. A study also demonstrated taking college courses can be beneficial for delaying the onset of dementia.

4. Taking Life into New Areas

During old age, you may want to do things time did not allow at an earlier point. For instance, you may decide to see other parts of the globe to find happiness. You may even move to another country, state, or province for emotional satisfaction. Learning to play instruments or reading novels are also pursuits you may want to do. Many elderly people could find happiness through cooking. The options for refocusing life are as diverse as the individual allows them to be. (Remember: Former President George Bush participated in sky diving at an older age.)

5. Sharing Knowledge with Family, Friends, and Others

Exchanging knowledge is another way to maintain happiness in the later years. You may want to mentor youth, communicate online, or help a school by substituting as a teacher. You may desire to spend more time with grandchildren, telling stories and playing, to increase your happiness. The opportunities for sharing with various groups are vast.

6. Limiting Distractions

As you age, call upon the wisdom of what is really important. Recognize time in life is not limitless. Enjoy your golden years at peace and not living with regrets. In order to focus on happiness, avoid frequent worry and frustration.

7. Keep a Positive Perspective on Life

Accept the idea that problems will arise. When situations become too stressful with negative results, the outcome should be accepted. The same should apply to positive outcomes. To achieve happiness in older age, knowing things are not always going to be perfect or to your liking is crucial.

8. Volunteering

Many people find happiness volunteering for nonprofits or participating in community events. Your final years can be filled with helping others. This strategy helps many people achieve happiness.

Some older individuals may enjoy outdoor activities like starting a flower or vegetable garden.

Some older individuals may enjoy outdoor activities like starting a flower or vegetable garden.

In the senior years, people could take a stronger interest in religion and seek employment, too.

In the senior years, people could take a stronger interest in religion and seek employment, too.

Older People at Work and Worship

Religion and finding a job can be beneficial for individuals in the twilight years. Religion refers to organized worship with traditional structure, and more than 90 percent of people in their senior years participate in some form of religion, making up half of all participation, according to one finding. Religious participation tends to have these mental health benefits, including: coping with disability and loss, development of positive attitudes about aging, and giving older individuals a sense of meaning and a purpose in life. In addition, religion allows for volunteering and building social networks. Volunteering provides chances to help with various functions, such as picnics or weekly meetings, can fortify a feeling of accomplishment and promote a sense of self-worth. Truly, volunteering or working can be useful ways to enjoy the final years of life.

Coincidentally, some people over 65 may find happiness by seeking employment. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, older Americans are choosing to work part-time or for short-terms after retiring. A variety of reasons could exist for an older individual to seek employment. These senior citizens can be found in different types of jobs, such as taxi drivers, working in the retail industry, and even in food service. Here are some factors which have brought older people back to the work force:

Factors Which Can Influence People to Find Work After Retiring

  • Primarily, if a person has grown up with a strong work ethic, he/she may want to continue to contribute to society to feel happy after retiring. In Addition, older individuals may need to meet financial obligations, such as medical insurance or simply to pay bills. Also, waiting for retirement or Social security benefits to increase brings older Americans back into the work force. Finally, if they are able to succeed in their objectives financially, then they have a sense of accomplishment, contributing to their overall sense of well-being and happiness.
  • Working helps to reduce boredom. Interacting with others lessens the feelings of isolation which could impact happiness. Indeed, some older people enjoy working for the sake of it. But nothing is more fulfilling than meeting your needs in order to stay happy regardless of how it is done.

References

Nine lifestyle changes can reduce dementia risk, study says - BBC News. Retrieved May 4, 2018, from:

www.bbc.com/news/health-40655566


Can Diet Help Prevent or Postpone Cognitive Decline? Retrieved May 4, 2018, from: https://biology.ucdavis.edu/news/can-diet-help-prevent-or-postpone-cognitive-decline


Why older workers keep staying on the job - CBS News. Retrieved May 4, 2018, from : Why older workers keep staying on the job - CBS News

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/why-older-workers-keep-staying-on-the-job/



This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

Comments

Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on August 26, 2019:

Research has now shown having positive attitudes about aging can be beneficial to your brain in the long-run. According to the Baltimore Longitudinal Study, the brain is impacted by the way we think about aging. Examning the brains of deceased older individuals, the researchers discovered those who held positive attitudes about getting old had less of the plaques associated with memory loss than those who held negative views. Also, those who did not view aging in a positive manner had a reduction in the hippocampus, the area of the brain associated with memory. The study findings appeared in Science News. Thanks for reading.

Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on October 26, 2018:

Hello, Mary,

I have frequently read your comments, and as you do here, you provide great comments with personal experience and insight.

I appreciate the follow and will reciprocate.

Growing older, as you pointed out, only can bring new opportunities to be engaged with life.

You are very wise.

Much respect and admiration,

Sincerely,

Tim

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on October 26, 2018:

My husband and I worked as Consultants after retiring. My husband stopped last year at the age of 75 for health reasons but the work made us travel to so many countries and experience different cultures and enabled him to share what he is good at. There are now many opportunities for Seniors to get engaged and improve their well being.

Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on June 30, 2018:

Thank you, Tamara. You are so correct. Growing old alone can be detrimental.

I appreciate your wise observation.

Much respect,

Sincerely,

Tim

Tamara Wilhite from Fort Worth, Texas on June 30, 2018:

A critical one is staying socially connected to friends and family so that you aren't ALONE, especially after the death of a spouse, but even if you're caregiving for one.

Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on May 07, 2018:

Thanks, mark. I appreciate your thoughtful comment. Writing is a wonderful way to stay young at heart and happy in spirit. I love it when time permits. Or finding creative works from thought provoking poets keeps me in love with life; there is a feeling of community here, for example.

Much respect,

Sincerely,

Tim

Mark Tulin from Santa Barbara, California on May 06, 2018:

Well done. Renewing interest in my writing has been my gateway. A good reference for all of us.

Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on April 27, 2018:

Thank you, Linda. I appreciate you reading this article and commenting. I look forward to the golden years, and I will keep happiness in mind doing those things that are positive because I want to leave a legacy of love on this Earth.

I am honored by your comment.

Sincerely,

Tim

Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on April 27, 2018:

Ms. Dora, thank you for your wonderful and thoughtful comment. I hope to grow old with wisdom and cheer. Life is to short to not enjoy what He put here for us, even in the tough times.

Sincerely,

Tim

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on April 26, 2018:

Your strategies sound excellent, Tim. It's important for older people to stay active in mind and body for as long as possible. Finding happiness while doing this is a great goal.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on April 26, 2018:

Great counsel, Tim. We, the older people, need these reminders. Retirement does not seem to benefit people who can still move, or do something-anything!

Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on April 26, 2018:

Thank you for your comment, Readmikenow. Staying active is an important key. I intend to keep writing until He calls me home.

Sincerely,

Tim

Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on April 26, 2018:

As usual, Manatita, your wisdom extends beyond the fascinating and startling verses you provide to enlighten us. I am always honored when you give such wonderful comments and add something for all of us to consider.

Much respect,

Your brother,

Tim

Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on April 26, 2018:

I sincerely hope so, Doug. You touch on subjects about our nation in more detail and with the kind of sincerity that's missing in many historical documents.

Much respect,

Tim

Doug West from Missouri on April 26, 2018:

Good advice. I am planning on keeping my brain alive by writing for (hopefully) many more years.

Readmikenow on April 26, 2018:

This is a good article. I plan to write stories and books until the day I pass from this earth. That's me, and what I'm comfortable doing. A person once told me that old age is like graduating high school, we all have to find our way through it. Enjoyed reading this.

Ioannis Arvanitis from Greece, Almyros on April 26, 2018:

Dear Brother,

your golden heart and your Love are enough to write the best analysis!

Just let them free.

I am looking forward!

This Soul you mentioned deserves the best, and your heart is the best.

Sean

manatita44 from london on April 25, 2018:

Nice article.

Many work , as Gentrification either forces them out or the money needs to be increased for rent in the city. Man is by nature social, gregarious and can become lonely.

Many find solace in working for a charitable organisation. Altruism is there but the conscious or unconscious need to avoid boredom and loneliness, is much greater. Especially as we begin to reflect on the beyond.

Your Hub presents nice ideas and can be useful for many. Much peace, my brother.

Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on April 25, 2018:

Thank you, Sean. I try to bring some helpful tips for people to my writing. Happiness is an important topic.

God smiles on you as well for being supportive and an informative soul. In fact, I will revisit your brilliant analysis of another dear soul's poem to gather wisdom for my own approach to one of his works.

Much respect,

Sincerely,

Tim

Ioannis Arvanitis from Greece, Almyros on April 25, 2018:

Dear Brother Tim,

You are a man with golden heart and the wisdom that only Love can give to a human being. This article is filled with these two, Heart and Wisdom. You care, my brother, you care for others and so you are helpful!

Gratitude and admiration!

Sean

PS: I am sure that Jesus is smiling with your offering!

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