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Be Happy in Spite of

by Beth on March 20th, 2018

People are often surprised to hear that we get happier as we age. It seems like a paradox, because old age is filled with aches and pains and losses. But it’s true! Older people experience as many positive emotions as younger people, but fewer negative ones.

In his book, Happiness is a Choice You Make, John Leland discusses many of the reasons our happiness increases as we age. One is that older people are “happy in spite of”. Many of us think we will be “happy if only” all of the bad things would go away or “happy when” we achieve a specific goal. Older people have learned that there will always be bad things, but they can choose to be happy in spite of them.

Studies show that older people experience more mixed emotions. They can be sad about some things, while being happy about others at the same time. They have learned that life doesn’t have to be all good to be good. You can be happy despite negative circumstances. It depends on your attitude and what you choose to focus on.

Older people know that life is too short to wait around for happiness. They don’t let small stressors get them down. They have figured out what makes them happy and spend more time doing those things.

Fortunately, you don’t have to grow old to be happy in spite of. You can change your mindset right now by recognizing that happiness won’t magically come when you graduate or when you get married or when you lose five pounds or when you can afford a bigger house. You can be happy now – in spite of any problems you might be facing.

Be grateful for what is good in your life. Savor happy moments. Do what you love. Help someone. Appreciate your family and friends. And don’t waste time on worry or regret.

Stop waiting to be happy when and start being happy in spite of!

From → Emotions, Mindset

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