Senior citizens are the wiser members of society. They have lived through and coped with many challenges. But as they age the next generation starts taking up their places in family, profession and even in society. This sudden change in their status often becomes the reason for their unhappiness. A society in which a big section is unhappy cannot be a healthy society, hence, the happiness of our senior citizens should not be ignored. Here are some ways that our seniors can adopt to live a happy and fulfilled life.
1)Take care of physical health: Good health is essential to a happy and fulfilled life.
Exercise: Adults aged 60 years and above must do moderate-intensity activity such as brisk walking, at least 150 minutes a week (30 minutes a day, 5 days a week) or 75 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity activity such as hiking, jogging, or running, at least 2 days a week of activities that strengthen muscles and activities to improve balance such as standing on one foot for about 3 times a week. If chronic conditions affect the ability to meet these recommendations, senior adults should try to be as physically active as their abilities and conditions allow.
Proper sleep: They should take 7-8 hours of sleep each night to feel rested and alert. Improper sleep may cause irritability, memory loss, depression, fails and accidents. A good night’s sleep can be achieved by:
· avoiding late afternoon or evening nap
· following a regular bedtime routine
· staying away from watching television, using cellphones and computers in the bedroom
· using low lighting in the bedroom as they prepare for bed
· exercising regularly
Healthy eating: It is advised to reduce the portion sizes and sugar and increase the water intake.
2) Smile: Smile is the reflection of gratitude and happiness. When you are happy you smile. Researchers have found that the reverse is also true, that is, when you smile your brain releases the happiness hormone, dopamine, and you start to feel happy.
3) Develop a social circle: Meeting people face to face, in person, benefits your psychological health. It helps in reducing anxiety, depression, to provide support during difficult times and makes daily life meaningful.
4) Lend a helping hand: When you help others in need you do not only feel valued but it also nourishes your soul giving you spiritual happiness.
5) Share knowledge: When old and young connect, they make a great combination of wisdom and energy. Sharing knowledge and experiences with the younger generation satisfies social needs of both the age groups and develops healthier relationships. But narcissistic talks about one’s achievements should be completely avoided. The aim of knowledge sharing should be to guide others and not to establish oneself as superior.
6) Provide space: Sometimes it is important to be a passive observer with the intent to provide support whenever needed and let people make some mistakes and learn from experience. This helps the younger generation to develop problem solving and critical thinking skills and it will also establish the seniors as accepting, non-interfering and supporting. This will make them more likeable. A reason to be happy about!
7) Develop a hobby: When people are in their grihastha ashram, they spend most of their time in fulfilling their responsibilities towards their families, organizations, and society. They are also bound by the duty of expansion, be it resources, family, or money. They seldom find time to follow a hobby. Post retirement is the golden time to spend time in doing what you have always loved to do. Many researches have proved that following a hobby is therapeutic.
The author is the founder of Readers’ Oak, academician, corporate coach, personality development and soft skills trainer, happiness coach, and teachers’ trainer and practices Vedic art of living