It's common for seniors to go through some very difficult times during retirement. Physical health problems, major life changes and losing loved ones are all stressful issues many seniors must face and live with on a day-to-day basis. If you're going through something emotionally grueling, the last advice you probably want to hear is "stay positive," but in truth a positive outlook can be more healing than you might think.
Believe it or not, the act of laughing actually induces physical changes in your body that can help improve your mood and relieve stress. It releases endorphins, stimulates the heart and helps soothe your body's physical stress symptoms. Though it sometimes isn't easy to be positive, making the choice to be optimistic will increase your overall sense of wellbeing and simply make you feel better.
"When you wake up every day, you have two choices," best-selling author Harvey Mackay once said. "You can either be positive or negative; an optimist or a pessimist. I choose to be an optimist. It's all a matter of perspective."
Mackay, now in his 80s, has written several inspirational business books throughout his life, and continues to write columns and make speeches that inspire people in the business world, and outside it, to stay positive.
Sometimes the best way to change your attitude is by becoming more active and involved in what's going on around you. Here are three tips for seniors in active retirement communities to become more optimistic, simply by making lifestyle changes:
1. Spend time with others
Spending time with others is a great way to get your mind off the negative. Plus, if others are going through hard situations as well, it can help spread the positivity. Reach out to other residents in your community and do at least one social activity a day. Take group walks, play a game and have fun.
2. Stay healthy
Eating nutritious foods and staying active can help decrease stress and increase natural feel-good hormones like endorphins. Many people tend to get into unhealthy habits when grieving, stressed or sad, but staying healthy is actually the best way to fight those negative feelings.
3. Get creative
Creative activities like painting, playing instruments or taking photographs can be very cathartic during hard times. They can help you express yourself, and they're a healthy way to reflect on what you'r?e feeling. Take advantage of any art activities going on in your community. You may even find a new hobby!
Remember that feeling sad is OK, but it's important to try to overcome negative feelings to start living a better life overall.