When we think of aging, we tend to think of it a negative and dark perspective. However, is there a way we could embrace this process in life and increase our joys while dealing with the loss of our youth? This is not to say that we gloss over the hardships that comes with aging, but rather to view these challenges without feeling shameful about them and to find ways to joyfully overcome them. Here are five areas you can try to implement to help you think positively and joyfully about our growing process.
Take time to smell the flowers. We've all heard of that phrase, but this is actually an important aspect of increasing our joy. In a study regarding older ones, researchers found that taking the time to walk and find inspiring things in your surroundings can help increase feelings of kindness, generosity, joy, and more. According to a study, older adults who had a habit of taking these short walks in nature (about 15 minutes once a week), the intensity of their smiles increased. This a simple, low impact method anyone can incorporate into their lifestyle to increase their joy as they age!
There are many studies that show that those who participated in social activities often such as playing cards or chess, going to sport games, watching a movie at the theater or being a part of a club or church and so forth seemed to be connected to decreased mortality among older ones. A possible reason could be that these activities increased one's sense of belonging and being needed. These activities also help keep older one's minds sharp. In addition, interacting with others can enhance one's wellbeing and joy. So if you haven't already, consider joining a club or community related to your interests!
According to some studies, older adults who often received plants or flowers as gifts, seemed to help boost their memory and mood. It could be that looking at greenery seems to helps restore our ability to concentration which in turn can improve our memory. So get into gifting yourself with flowers from time to time! Do you have a balcony, small section in your home, or backyard in which you can add some greenery? Why don't you consider investing in some plants that are easy to grow and can boost your mood in your living space. Studies have also shown that gardening can have potential mental and physical benefits. So regardless of what method you choose to incorporate greenery into your lifestyle, doing so is another positive step you can take that can bring more joy as your age.
We often hear how important exercise is for our health and it truly is! In many studies, it has been shown that taking time to get our bodies moving can help increase the size of the part of the brain that is in charge of our learning and memory. As we age, this portion of the brain tends to shrink, causing our memory to deteriorate. In addition, when we take time to exercise it can help us to retain our mobility to enjoy daily activities with ease. When we take time to invest in our mobility now while we are still relatively young, we can help preserve our range of motion so that we can still enjoy the activities we love such as hiking and dancing or simple day to day tasks such as bending down to tie our shoelaces or wash the dishes. If you aren't making time now, start scheduling time to exercise so that you can age with grace later!
It can be very tempting when new technologies come out to say, "That's for kids." When we are in a habit of doing that, it becomes harder and harder for us to learn new equipment as this society evolves. It can also affect the way we function, our sense of control, as well as our independence. Do you remember having to teach your grandparents how to use video calling? And how at times, they were so fed up with it, they just didn't want to deal with it, which in turn made them more and more dependent on those around them to help them do certain tasks that involved these high-functioning technology. That can also be frustrating for older ones as well. So instead of letting it all accumulate, try to stay in touch with what's new. If you have that mentality that you want to keep learning, it can increase your independence and your joy even when you're older.
Aging doesn't have to a shameful or dreaded experience. If we take time to invest in the above five steps, we can greatly improve our life even when we're older and experience greater joy and contentment. So don't wait, start investing for a happier future today!