If we remain young at heart, do we ever really grow old?
Perhaps this is the philosophy the older generation of our country follows to live their lives. How else would you explain the immense sense of contentment and joy they have that somehow the younger generation seems to lack?
Studies show quite strongly that people’s satisfaction with their life increases, on average, from their early 50s on through their 60s and 70s and even beyond, while they are least happy in mid-life. Maybe that’s why the term ‘mid-life crisis.’ While there’s no explanation for why the older generation is happier than adults, there’s no denying the fact that it’s something we can all aspire to be.
How do we get there? While this news surely makes us excited to grow old, we do not have to wait to be 60 to be truly happy.
Here’s what our older generation does differently to stay happy that we can follow too:
- They find happiness in the ordinary things in Life: The younger generation looks for the novelty and extraordinary in things while forgetting that there’s magic in the ordinary. Our elders find joy in doing simple things in life, like trying a new cuisine or visiting an old friend. They don’t seek thrill but relish the calmness that each moment offers. They truly follow ‘carpe diem’ to the tee and consider each moment a gift.
What can you do: You can learn to live each day with joy and seize every moment as an opportunity to experience happiness. Happiness is an inner work and one should not wait on an external factor for fulfillment.
- They form meaningful relationships: Older generations have few but true friends. They invest in meaningful relations and bonds instead of forming superficial ties. They find time for what’s truly important.
What can you do: Invest in relationships and take out time for the people who matter. Stay connected to them through calls and cards and make sure to include them in your life.
- They volunteer: Whether it’s with an NGO, or with a friend in need, older generation volunteers and is always willing to help. Studies reveal that volunteering reduces the risk of depression and increases the feeling of general well-being in people. People who volunteer also develop new relationships, which itself is a predictor of happiness.
What can you do: Choose a volunteering activity that suits your personality and interest. You can also help a family member or friend in need.
- They embrace hard work: Whether it’s cooking, or buying groceries, the older generation doesn’t believe in taking short cuts. Even the tech-savvy adults still want to go out and buy vegetables instead of ordering them online. When you go out, you meet people and have interactions which in turn increases your mental well-being.
What can you do: Once in a while, step out and find time for simple tasks. Increase your interactions with people and experience the joy of smelling a fruit or flower before buying it.
Count your age in the conversations with friends, the flowers you smell, the relationships you form and the people you help. Age is just a number, and when you live it right, the number doesn’t matter.
Ask a question regarding Seniors – A truly happy generation