I am on my great adventure in Washington DC. This blog is my inspiration. It was posted in October 2019. A month after, in November, I suffered a brain aneurysm and had surgery with a full recovery. Mobility is now becoming an issue and I’ve been doing LOTS of walking this past year to prepare. When there’s a will, we find a way. Keep moving!
I write this as an inspiration to start as soon as you can to be happy. Attitude measures your latitude in life. This is a common theme in my blogs. Instead of finding what this author of the link thought he would, he found an unexpected vitality of older folks. He found the project so inspiring that he didn’t want it to end.
Point one is, shit happens, and we don’t always have control over it, but we do have complete control over how we choose to deal with it…. make you or break you. If we can live in gratitude all the time, it changes how we look at the world. When we know our own divinity, we can live our genuine best selves with vigor, regardless of the challenges.
Having a purpose; knowing our time left is finite helps us live in the now, appreciating every experience left to embrace. Many elders find a new hobby or talent they never knew they had. Art, music, and writing seem to flourish in seniors. And many take on a new physical challenge they never imagined, like running a marathon or a swimming or bike endurance. The choices are limitless.
Now, here’s some good news about aging …. we get happier, again, to the other happiest age of 28. As we age, we accept who we are instead of focusing on who we think we should become. We relax into ourselves. Also, we can rewire our brains with positive enforcements and feedback. This is scientifically proven. The longer we linger on positive experiences, the longer the neurons will fire onto the parts of the brain responsible for the feel-good feelings of happiness, confidence, and love.
Obviously, healthy mind, healthy body pertains to all parts of our health. Positive emotions have a direct link to healing. We are social beings and having a healthy network of close relationships is another key component to our happiness. Many elders are house-bound, and it is proven that having transportation to local senior activity centers helps their quality of life. Even in the most challenging circumstances, they can thrive when given resources.
Helping others makes us happier. This is true at any age. Being kind is a reward that lives in a circle and always comes back around. It combats the feelings of disconnection. In this world of technology, too much of that can isolate and cause loneliness. We are still finding the balance on how to use it best to help others.
Lasting happiness is born of a deep sense of purpose. This I believe wholeheartedly. Mindfulness is a gateway to happiness. One way to train towards this is through meditation. Studies have shown that meditation boosts positive feelings and psychological well-being, in addition to warding off stress, depression and anxiety.
By being still and by being present is when we are the happiest. So maybe it really is this simple. Being kind, helping others at any age …. everything else is born from here.