8 Strategies for Finding Happiness in Your Senior Years
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.
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.
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.
Will you apply some of these strategies to finding happiness as you grow older?
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.
Do you think individuals who are elderly should work after retiring?
Nine lifestyle changes can reduce dementia risk, study says - BBC News. Retrieved May 4, 2018, from:
Sixty-Five Plus in the United States - Census Bureau. Retrieved April 20, 2018, from: https://www.census.gov/population/socdemo/statbriefs/agebrief.html
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
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.