Sat, 02 Dec 2023

As we age, we must understand the importance of maintaining our psychological well-being. Happiness plays a significant role in our overall health and longevity.

Studies have shown that happy individuals live longer, are more satisfied with life, and have a lower risk of chronic illnesses. Eric Kim UBC professor discusses strategies to help you maintain your psychological well-being and cultivate happiness as you age.

Social Engagement

Social engagement is integral to happiness. It provides a sense of belonging and a feeling of purpose. As we age, social support becomes increasingly important.

Engage with family and friends and cultivate new relationships by joining social groups. Volunteer in your community or participate in activities that align with your interests.

Some seniors have found joy in online socialization. Platforms like Facebook and Instagram allow seniors to keep in touch with family and friends regardless of distance. Zoom calls allow them to participate in group activities while staying safe at home. Social media can also be a great place to meet new people with similar interests.

Physical Activity

Physical activity has been shown to improve mood and reduce stress. It can also positively impact age-related health issues such as arthritis and heart disease. Even activities such as walking or gardening can provide the benefits of physical activity.

Group fitness classes like yoga, aerobics, or dance classes can be fun ways to exercise and socialize simultaneously. Water aerobics is another excellent form of exercise that is easy on the joints and provides a social environment.

Positive Thinking

Positive thinking plays a crucial role in happiness because our thoughts and attitudes shape our perception of the world. Studies have shown that people who maintain positive attitudes are happier and have better health outcomes.

Try to cultivate positive emotions by focusing on what makes you happy. Practice gratitude by journaling about things you are grateful for each day. Surround yourself with positive people and create an environment that fosters positivity.

Mindfulness Meditation

Mindfulness meditation is a simple yet effective way to reduce stress and cultivate happiness. It involves focusing on the present moment and accepting it without judgment.

Studies have shown that regular meditation improves mood, increases attention span, and boosts well-being.

Begin by setting aside 5 to 10 minutes each day for meditation. Find a quiet place where you can sit comfortably without being disturbed. Focus on your breath and observe any thoughts that arise without judgment.

Keep Learning

Continued learning has been shown to improve cognitive function and mental health. It can also provide a sense of purpose and accomplishment. Engage in activities that challenge your mind, such as reading, puzzles, or learning a new language.

Many local community centers offer classes specifically designed for seniors. Online courses are also becoming increasingly popular. Check out websites like Coursera or Udemy for courses on various subjects.

Find Meaning And Purpose

Finding meaning and purpose in life can contribute to happiness and psychological well-being. This can involve engaging in activities that we are passionate about, setting personal goals, and doing things that make us feel fulfilled.

Older adults who engage in meaningful activities such as volunteering or mentoring others tend to report higher life satisfaction and well-being.

Seek Professional Help When Needed

Despite our best efforts, we may experience mental health problems such as anxiety, depression, and other illnesses. Seeking help from a mental health professional can provide the necessary support and strategies to cope with these challenges.

It is essential to recognize that there is no shame in reaching out for help and that there are resources available to assist us in maintaining our psychological well-being.

Final Thoughts

According to Eric Kim UBC professor, maintaining psychological well-being as we age is essential to living a healthy and happy life. Engage with others, stay active, cultivate positive emotions, practice mindfulness, and keep learning.

Adopting new habits that contribute to your happiness and well-being is always possible.

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