What made you happy today? It’s a simple question, and yet we often forget that we have multiple opportunities every day to experience joy and gratitude. With all we’ve been through the past year and a half with the pandemic, shifting our focus from day-to-day survival to finding joy can take some effort!

One of my senior clients, Betty, hadn’t seen her family members for months and the loneliness took a toll on her emotional well-being. We talked about ways she could brighten up her life and have fun with a hobby or activity. There are many ways to increase our personal happiness and find bursts of joy, even if it’s something simple such as meditating for a few minutes, writing in a journal, or being out in nature.

In fact, finding these moments of happiness are good for the mind and body. Happy, positive people are more likely to be healthier and live longer than people who are chronically unhappy. Amazingly, happiness even has a direct influence on your brain. Brain scans show that different areas of the brain ‘light up’ when we feel different emotions. When we’re happy, we tend to be more alert, creative, and interested in others.

Here are some tips to help you and your family members increase your happiness and bursts of joy:

  • Start the day on a positive note. How your morning goes often influences your mood and motivation the rest of the day.
  • Cultivate gratitude. When people feel grateful, they’re more focused on the positive aspects of their lives. Look for something to be grateful for every single day.
  • Show appreciation. You can strengthen your friendships and relationships by letting the important people in your life know how much you value them.
  • Nurture close, supportive relationships. Good social relationships are strongly correlated with happiness. For some people, a few strong relationships meet their needs. For others, it’s a wide variety of friends and family.
  • Savor the present. Enjoy the simple things in life such as a good meal, a sunset, a conversation with a friend, and time with your loved ones. Sometimes it’s the little things that matter the most.

If you or someone in your family are facing aging challenges, please give us a call at 877-337-0922 or email us at cassandra@infinitycaremanagers.com. We’ll be happy to assist!