If you think “aging gracefully” is an oxymoron, think again: There are ways to encourage healthy aging that can absolutely translate to an improved quality of life. Here are some expert tips.
What does healthy aging mean to you? If you’re like most people, you’re looking forward to removing the negative from your life — negative energy, thoughts, people and activities that don’t contribute to your best life.
And while that’s a noble goal, too often we forget about ways to strengthen the positive parts of our lives. Expert Herbert “Buddy” Coard III, Ed.D, psychologist with Renown Behavioral Health, provides us a tool to improve happiness and life satisfaction by focusing on five positive behaviors.
Healthy Aging in 5 Easy Steps:
- Connect – Make connections with friends, family, colleagues and neighbors. When you build strong connections, they can help enrich your life with new experiences and opportunities. Besides, having a support system to call upon when you need a favor is valuable as you age.
- Be Active – Make time to get moving and work those muscles. Being active can include walking, practicing yoga, playing a game of pickleball or dancing. Exercise not only makes you feel good, it keeps you healthy. Pick a physical activity that you enjoy, and don’t make excuses. Not only will being active help you build stronger muscles, it also helps you build strong connections.
- Take Notice – Be mindful and become more curious. Like a child, see the wonder and beauty of the world. Notice the things around you — the weather, the landscape, the mood and feelings of the people around you. By taking notice, it’s easier to learn to appreciate the things that matter.
- Keep Learning – We never stop learning. Keep trying something new — a new course you’ve always wanted to try or a more challenging task someone has solicited for your help. Challenges keep us on our toes and increase our confidence and excitement in our day.
- Give – Be generous with your time, your knowledge and your talents by giving to friends, family and even strangers. Some easy ways to give is to show thankfulness, smile at people and volunteer. Sharing of yourself to a wider audience gives you a greater reward than just doing things for yourself.
Practice these five tips to better savor your life experiences. Think of it as shining a bright and happy light on the positive aspects of your already full life. And yes, definitely eliminate the negatives as well.