Cultivating Happiness & Health Together

By Michael Watson

It is inevitable that health will begin to decrease as we get older. Seniors may find it difficult to stay happy and positive in the face of these situations, and rightly so. The good news, however, is that it is possible to cultivate happiness while simultaneously giving your overall health a little boost. Here are a few key ways to do just that.

Get Outside

If your health allows, take a walk. If you cannot, ask for assistance to get outdoors. Having someone push a wheelchair around the block or even just sitting on the front porch could have a positive impact on your health.

Getting outside increases happiness by releasing endorphins (when walking) and regulating the natural circadian rhythm. Fresh air is scientifically proven to increase happiness and decrease the risk of depression. Being outdoors can also boost your vitamin D levels.

Have A Conversation

Seniors are at a high risk of depression due to a combination of health obstacles and lack of human interaction. Having a daily conversation with someone you care about or whose company you enjoy can make seniors happy.

Depression leads to a lowered immune system, which is always a bad thing. This can be even worse for those who face chronic health issues.

Do Something You Enjoy

While you may not be able to do all the things you enjoy with declining health, it is still important to take time for the things you are still able to do. Many things can be done with minimal physical exertion or while sitting.

A few examples of these enjoyable hobbies include:

  • Reading
  • Writing (including journaling or blogging)
  • Sewing
  • Playing board games
  • Gardening (with minimal assistance)
  • Watching television shows or movies
  • Scrapbooking
  • Photography
  • Gaming
  • Cooking

Know Your Limits

To remain happy, seniors may need to reevaluate their physical and emotional limits before pursuing the same activities they engaged in before. They may have been very active before contracting a health issue or getting into an accident, but that doesn't mean they can now do the same activities. Seniors need to think about what they cannot do anymore and make adjustments concerning the things that they can do.

Find Like-Minded Individuals

Seniors who have health challenges often feel alone in their struggles. However, there are multiple outlets for men and women who are dealing with health problems and need someone to talk to, either online or in person.

Seniors may wish to speak to their doctor about local groups that are dedicated to their health issues as these groups can help encourage and lift their spirits. encourage them to find local chat groups online that are dedicated to seniors and senior living.  

Speak to the Doctor Regularly

Sometimes, health issues are enough to bring about depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders. It's important for seniors to speak to their doctor on a regular basis to discuss concerns and go over options. Medication may need to be prescribed, or visits to a therapist or counselor could begin. It's easy for a health concern to take over, but seniors should know there are options available for them.

Focus on the Positive

Negative thoughts can be draining. Staying positive about your situation will help keep you happy when circumstances are seemingly too tough. Focus on the better parts of your life and not your health. Remember, you are in charge, not your current health concern.  

Learn Something New

It's important to be productive when you are faced with health issues. If you can no longer participate in one activity, choose another. For example, you may have had a knee or hip replacement and cannot walk well at the moment. Take up a hobby you can do sitting down, such as crocheting, writing, or reading.

As you are learning to deal with the changes that aging can bring, be patient with yourself, patient with your loved one, seek advice and answers to questions, and remember you are not in this alone. Contact a Caring Senior Service team near you today!

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Tags: Senior Health