Are you a Sandwiched Boomer managing the challenges of parents growing older and kids growing up? If so – especially in these difficult economic times – you may be more focused on reducing stress than increasing happiness. But it doesn’t have to be that way. The tips that follow are mainly about tweaking your attitude. Try them on, as they don’t take much time and are easy to implement:
Become aware of what brings you joy. Set aside time to experience and acknowledge your gratitude. Research participants were asked to write gratitude letters to those who had helped them. They reported that, after implementing the habit, they had a lasting increase in happiness over weeks and even months. What’s even more surprising is that sending the letter was not necessary. Even those who wrote letters, but never delivered them, still reported feeling better afterwards.
Embrace simplicity and appreciate what you have. Step outside and enjoy a moonlit night or take you family camping and roast marshmallows over the fire. Those who practice writing down three good things that happen to them every week show a significant increase in happiness. When life isan’t going so well, think optimistically and try to find the silver lining in any situation. Being more hopeful about the circumstances, a process called reframing, can lead to increased feelings of well-being.
Practice random acts of kindness. Focusing on the positive can help you remember reasons to be glad. When we perform good deeds and assist others it also benefits us. A recent study found that the more people participated in meaningful activities, the happier they were and the more they felt their lives had purpose. Pleasure-seeking behaviors, on the other hand, did not make them happier.
Read this article from PsychCentral for insight into what you can do to increase your sense of well-being. And click here to learn more about Dr. Martin Seligman and his work on Authentic Happiness at the University of Pennsylvania. If you want, you can even participate in a research study.
Log on to our website, HerMentorCenter and spend some time browsing. Start at the menu on the upper lefthand corner of the Home Page. There’s lots of information under ‘Newsletter Library’ and the articles in ‘Nourishing Relationships’ are full of practical tips. By signing up for the ‘Free Newsletter’, you can download a complimentary ebook about reaching your goals. And there’s no better time than now to order our new ebook, “Taking Control of Stress in a Financial Storm: Practical Strategies and Resources for Success.” Our thanks to Marilee Karlsen for the terrific photos from Bhutan!