Have you ever noticed how old people seem happier and content? It may be a little shocking to us because we (the younger generation) tend to have a common fear of being old.
We can divide the fear of being old into many parts. For example: getting old means losing many abilities to enjoy life, worrying about losing people we love, missing opportunities of earning what we dream, and many more.
Thus, most people seem to pursue happiness and consume all their power and money in order to not miss out on life. But, they end up feeling more sad and empty.
So, I interviewed one of my favorite women I know, my beloved grandmother (She is 91 years old) who has a sassy attitude towards life and enjoys talking to people. She taught so much about life and gave me the key to happiness.
1. OUR ACTIONS
Memories can go a long way when it comes to happiness. Even the ones you currently find horrible and messed up. One day they may become the reason of your smile when you reach a certain age.
“When I was young, I managed to do everything I wanted,” she said, “right now, I love every little bit of my memories, they help me smile, including the ones I hated back then”.
Don’t be scared to jump in and enjoy the ride, it’s about living and creating memories with people we love. “Travel, laugh, and be adventurous” she smiles, “your actions will always be a part of your memories, so make them count”.
However, science agrees with my grandmother as well, there is a study that shows people derive more happiness from their experiences more than from possessions.
2. KEEP LEARNING!
Whether you are still a student or you graduated years ago, your education process should never stop. Old people will always insist to have a good education in order to earn a better life and the ability to go further.
The U.S. Centers for Disease And Control Prevention also agreed when it found that people with a Bachelor’s degree do actually live a decade longer than people who don’t have one. We can’t deny that this is a weird conclusion.
But, if we think about it, we will realize that the more degrees we have, the better opportunities we will find, and that will help us enjoy a more comfortable life. “Don’t drop out, your degree is very important” my grandmother explained to me,”you’ll be happier, my dear!”
3. HELP OTHERS
“Do you still hit your little brother?” my grandmother asked me.
“No, Nanny! That was years ago! We are both adults now” I answered sarcastically.
“Good, because harming others is no good, don’t harm them. You won’t be happy, you will have no one” she answered innocently.
Helping others and being kind give you more purpose in life. Plus, it will help you fight anxiety and depression. Offering help is one of the most effective keys to achieving happiness.
“I love to help others from now and then, I like to be the reason for their smile” my grandmother strikes me again with her wisdom.
4. ADAPT FOR A BETTER AND LONGER LIFE
I always was curious to know how my grandmother was able to stay strong enough going through all these years, losing the people she loves, and survive all life’s obstacles. So, I couldn’t help but ask her and she didn’t hesitate to say this: “Well, life goes on regardless, and I must too”.
Learn how to adapt to change and you will lose your fear of future. It is a part of having a positive attitude towards life. Instead of fearing change, you should be excited and ready for whatever life is going to throw your way.
5. EAT NATURAL
“You look so beautiful, what is the secret?” I asked my grandmother.
“I don’t eat that McDonald’s thing” she laughed, “I don’t know what happens to you, people, but eating fruits can make you look pretty. I think it is what kept me alive to this age, they are making me stronger than you, I bet!”.
I actually agree with her, I notice how she is still able to walk up the stairs every day, fix her own room daily, and sometimes walk for more than an hour without hearing her complain. In conclusion, she is physically and mentally strong for a 91 years old woman.
However, she always eats healthy and she refuses to consume anything that doesn’t look healthy to her. Vegetables and fruits are necessary for her meals, even that she has only a few bites every day. “Eat fruits, darling! You will live longer” She said.
6. LIVE IN THE PRESENT
“Age is just a number!” we learned this sentence since we were young. Now, I finally started to understand the depth of it. Days do not wait, and the past is unchangeable. So, live your present, appreciate what you have, and enjoy it while you can.
As we grow older, it feels like time flies and we don’t have any chance to pause and realize what is going on. But, we actually can!
- Take only 15 minutes from your day, whether during your lunchtime or before you head to bed.
- Sit somewhere alone.
- Start remembering everything you are grateful for (your job, health, money, your family, etc).
- Say them out loud to yourself.
- Take a deep breath, and then you can continue your day.
Doing this once a day, or even once a week will improve your emotional intelligence and you will gain more power to handle time.
“I lost the love of my life years ago, your grandfather. But, I have you and your brother. That makes me glad.” She explained about being happy in the present.