The Pursuit Of Happiness
As we age, whether you are retired or still working, your quality of life is affected by the basic emotion of happiness.
Recent studies suggest that happiness is-to a great extent- a matter of attitude, and therefore within our control.
Psychologists identify a number of steps we can take to make our “pursuit of happiness” more productive.
1. Be an optimist
Optimism is a skill not an inborn trait. It can be learned by practicing positive thinking. You can develop better coping mechanisms and learn how to manage negative feelings.
2. Be social – studies have shown that people with five or more close friends are 50% happier than those with a smaller social circle.
3. Challenge yourself – find something that tests your limits, such as learning a new language or sport, and you will generally be happier for it.
4. Focus on doing, rather than having – the satisfaction you get from ownership fades rapidly, while the memory of an event often grows more profound over time.
5. Take good care of yourself – your physical appearance directly affects your self-esteem. Do something each day to make yourself feel good, such as exercising, getting your hair done, or simply dressing nicely for dinner.
6. Look after another – the act of caring for another living being fills an important psychological need in all of us. It takes you out of your own world and can give you a sense of purpose. That’s why so many empty-nesters and retirees find it rewarding to adopt a pet, become a mentor, or volunteer.
These are just a few of finding happiness and a good place to start. You may even find that the pursuit itself is what really counts.