Tips for staying happy in retirement

Surveys in a variety of different cultures indicate that a major objective for most people is to “be happy”. No surprises there.

The problem for many of us in today’s world is that there’s a lot of obstacles out there that are encouraging anxiety, rather than helping us find happiness.

It’s obviously a huge topic to cover and I can’t solve many problems in 400 words, but here are a few tips that could help you recover your optimism and happiness after fate knocks you over.

Cut down the time you spend on social media. For many people it adds to their anxiety. Much of what’s out there is negative, crass, materialistic and unlikely to bring much joy into your life. (apart from family pictures).

Recognise that what  and how you think has a major effect on your life. If the majority of your thoughts are negative and depressing, then you will become unhappy. So if you want to bring more happiness into your life, develop the habit of thinking positive, optimistic thoughts. Finding happiness is a skill and like other skills, it can be learnt.

Be grateful for the good things you have.  We tend to take the good things in our lives for granted . If you want to be a happier person, try focussing more on all the good things that have happened to you, rather than thinking about what you’re missing out on. Then be grateful for what you have. There are plenty of people in the world who are far worse off.

Give rather than receive.  Volunteering is a great way  to look outside of your own problems. Giving back makes a difference to people in your community and it also makes you feel happier and helps put your own problems into perspective. As well it’s an easy way to meet new people and raise your own self esteem.

Cut down on TV   It’s passive entertainment which offers no mental stimulation. Spending hours on a couch is also bad for your physical health. Spend the time doing something that stimulates your brain – reading, cross words, learning something, socialising with friends are all likely to make you happier than spending hours in front of TV.

Be involved with life and your community  People who seem to be the happiest in some form of retirement, are those who are active participants in life.  Get involved in hobbies, sports, activities that interest you. Get out and be with other people. It helps if most of them have positive attitudes.

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