Surveys suggest that older adults are generally happier than their younger counterparts. That said, many older adults struggle with the various challenges of aging, such as changes to their appearance, mobility issues and transitioning into retired life. The good news is there are lots of ways to boost your happiness and emotional wellbeing in later life. With that in mind, here are six happiness tips for older adults:
1. Spend time with loved ones
Research suggests that there is a strong connection between happiness and close family relationships. A recent report found that spending time with family members was the most important happiness factor among seniors. Seniors who have close bonds with their families tend to be healthier, happier, and more energetic when compared to older adults who rarely see their family members or socialize.
Family ties are important, and you should focus on nurturing close bonds with your family members. Make an effort to stay in regular contact and attend family events and celebrations. If your family members live far away, then you can connect using apps like Whatsapp or Skype. Various family apps have also been designed to connect family members who are separated by distance. Some of the best user-friendly family apps are Lala Breakfast, FamilyApp, and FamilyWall. Ask a younger family member or friend to show you how to download and use these apps if you are unsure. That way, you will have the means to stay in touch with your family and communicate with loved ones online.
2. Make new friends
Social connections play a crucial role in your happiness as you get older. Sadly, many older adults experience feelings of loneliness and isolation in later life. A recent study by the University of California found that 40% of seniors regularly feel lonely. Loneliness has been linked to serious health conditions and death in the elderly. This is why it is so important to maintain an active social life as you get older.
It can become more difficult to make friends when you get older, but there are plenty of opportunities to meet new people. You could get involved in local community projects, join group classes, or connect with people via online chat forums. Relocating to a senior living community can be another great way to meet older people with similar interests. Frontier Senior Living explains moving to an independent living community is one of the best ways to increase socialization if you are spending too much time alone. You will become part of a supportive community and will have the opportunity to interact with other residents daily and get involved with group activities.
3. Take care of your body
There is a strong correlation between physical and mental health. Taking good care of your body will boost your happiness and improve your emotional wellbeing. It will also lower your chance of health problems associated with aging, such as heart problems and strokes. You can take care of your body by eating a nutrient-rich diet, drinking enough water, and avoiding potentially harmful substances like nicotine and alcohol. You should also maintain an active lifestyle and incorporate exercise into your daily routine. Following these steps will help you stay fit, healthy, and happy as your get older.
4. Discover new hobbies
You are likely to have a lot more free time on your hands after you retire. Retirement is an exciting milestone in your life, but it can also cause anxiety. Many elderly people lose their sense of purpose when they stop working and donot know what to do with all of their spare time.
Retirement is the ideal time to explore your interests and discover new hobbies and passions. Use your free time to try out different hobbies and learn new skills. Some of the best pastimes for seniors include online learning, hiking, book clubs, photography, and gardening. Getting involved with group hobbies can also be an excellent way to boost your social interaction and meet new people with similar interests. Get outside of your comfort zone, try new things, and find hobbies that you can enjoy doing in your free time.
5. Volunteer in your free time
Volunteering in your free time can be a great way to give back to your community and make a positive impact. Doing good can also give you a sense of purpose and elevate your mood and sense of wellbeing. Many charities and organizations are in desperate need of volunteers. Some popular volunteering opportunities for seniors include tutoring children, assisting in local libraries, walking dogs in rescue centers, and serving hot meals to the homeless. There are also likely to be community projects and events happening in the local area that you can get involved with.
6. Practice mindfulness
Daily life can be stressful; you must find ways to relax and overcome feelings of stress and anxiety. Practicing mindfulness can be an effective way to unwind and achieve a calm state of mind. According to The Hartford, practicing mindfulness can increase energy levels, boost mood, improve memory and lower your risk of dementia.
There are lots of simple ways to practice mindfulness in your daily life. For instance, you could try meditating for 5-10 minutes each morning. That way, you will start your day feeling relaxed, refreshed, and positive. Meditating before bed can also help you relax and enjoy better sleep quality. You can find plenty of useful guides and tutorials online offering tips on how to practice meditation from home. You can also join local meditation classes and get involved in group sessions.
You should make your happiness a priority at any age and older adults should take steps to improve their mental health and wellbeing. Focus on the things that bring you joy in life such as spending time with family, pursuing new interests, or giving back to your community. The above tips should boost your mood and help you lead a healthier and happier lifestyle in later life.