Happiness in Old Age – Observations of a Family Physician

(What you can do to experience happiness in old age)
In no particular order:

  1. Stay outwardly focused by keeping your mind on the well-being and/or the activities of others.  If you can only do one thing, this is it. Everything below will help keep you outwardly focused.
  2. Take on volunteer jobs that will help others.
  3. Attend lots of events, including:
    1. Childrens’ programs and games
    2. Community activities, plays, concerts, etc.
    3. Movies
    4. Cultural events
  4. Stay focused on today and the near future.
  5. Make somebody laugh every day (this is the one I belive I’m most successful at in my daily life).
  6. Tell someone you love them, or do something that creates a message of love every day.
  7. Be active in the church of your choice, and have meaningful discussions about your spiritual beliefs.
  8. Be optimistic even if you are dying (remember, we all are).
  9. Don’t worry about the future; God is already there.
  10. Develop the ability to see what you believe, don’t be content to just believe what you can see.
  11. Develop a new hobby or expand upon an old one.
  12. Cultivate friendships by making new ones and enriching and enjoying old ones.
  13. Be as physically active as you are able.
  14. Move your body every day.  Make it your goal to do it regularly, but not for a certain amount or length of time. Once started, you will usually wind up doing more than you anticipated and feeling better than you thought you would.  Also, do what you can to make this exercise enjoyable by directing your mind to something you are interested in, by watching a sitcom like Sinefeld or listening to one of the Great Courses (my personal favorites).
  15. Eat well for good nutrition and to control your weight.
  16. Pray every day.
  17. Exercise your mind as well as your body; learn something every day.
  18. Travel to someplace you really want to go, as opposed to travelling so that you can say that you’ve been there.
  19. Get up at about the same time every day.
  20. If you like to drink, don’t avoid it, but never overdo it.
  21. Be an example of happiness to younger people.