Negative Thoughts Accelerate Aging and Damage Our Immune System
Seniors Don’t Need Help Aging, We’re Doing Fine on Our Own
BoomerGal’s 7 Steps to Happiness
“Don’t ruin a perfectly good day today thinking about a bad day. Treat each day as a blank canvas and just let the paint fly. Each day is a new opportunity to create your masterpiece.”
Regardless of how much I try to avoid the news, it’s virtually impossible not to acknowledge the resurgence of the dastardly COVID virus, known as the Delta variant. Hospitals, clinics, and all health organizations are being overrun with new patients, and it doesn’t appear that things are returning to normal as we once thought several months ago.
“Our attitude, our resilience, adaptability and ultimately our happiness are all facing unprecedented challenges as we navigate through this COVID crisis.”
As all of us Boomers and Seniors watch the world spin around us and celebrate the process we call aging, it is imperative we do everything possible to diminish and ultimately discard negative thinking and do everything possible to create happiness in our lives. Why? Well for one thing, our wonderful immune system relies heavily on that—our immune system is inextricably linked to our happiness quotient. The happier you are, the better you feel.
And, oh by the way, our aging process is also linked to that same happiness quotient. Get rid of the scowl that too often associates itself with seniors and put on a smile and reward yourself with happy thoughts. It works for me.
So how do we do it. Not easy folks, but you do have a choice. You can either go through these days of uncertainty with a negative attitude, or you can CHOOSE to put a positive spin on your world and enjoy your days filled with happiness—yes, the glass is half full.
Now I’m not a clinical psychologist or therapist by any stretch of the imagination (that’s my DISCLAIMER!), but I can tell you what works for me and my friends, and that is precisely why I have this website and my weekly blogs. To bring positivity and inspiring messages and creative ways to overcome the things plaguing all of us Boomers and Seniors.
So, let’s get to it. Here is my list of 7 ways to bring happiness into your life every day. Now to be fair, I had a little help from my friends at Wellness Pursuits articulating some of these thoughts. I want to give credit where credit is due, and they are just terrific with their editorial contribution.
Focus on the Positive. I’ve had plenty of trials and tribulations over my 70 years, but I don’t go around saying “woe is me” and why am I the only person who had all these bad things happen. Well, I realized a long time ago I wasn’t the only one, so I got over it. When I go to bed at night, I say prayers of thankfulness and gratitude, and I do the same thing in the morning when I wake. Doing something as simple as that gives me such peace and it instantly removes any negative thinking. I’ve surrounded myself with gratitude so there isn’t any room for negativity when it comes knocking.
Focus on Gratitude. Americans are a rather impetuous crowd. That is, we would like to have things happen now rather than later, regardless of how reckless, impulsive and hasty we might allow it to happen. “If you constantly focus on what you do not have, you will continuously live with dissatisfaction and unhappiness. When you do get what you want, the joy, the buzz will be fast fleeting and within a short time you’ll be just as unhappy as you were before.” My position on this, be grateful for what you have and don’t always try to wish for what you don’t have. And whatever you do, don’t fall into the jealously pit of what someone has that you don’t. Stay above the fray, and be thankful not only for what you have, and you might try being thankful for them as well.
Focus on your Dreams. My BoomerGuy and I will be building our dream home sooner rather than later—that dream has been in the making for a number of years. We had to put our life on hold for several years to help care for my parents, but honestly, it was an honor I would do again. Even with all that, we didn’t set out with unrealistic expectations, because that would have meant everything would have either worked out or else. Rather, we approached our dream with a sense of hope and optimism.
“It is not true that people stop pursuing dreams because they grow old, they grow old because they stop pursuing their dreams.”
Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Focus on the Present. You live in the present so be present. You don’t live in the past, the past is no longer a place to reside except for the memories and experiences created along the way. “Your past self has plenty to teach you. But remember, you’re not your past self, you’re your present self. Consult your past and learn from it, but don’t let it shackle or haunt you.” And you don’t live in the future, but as I just said, fill your future with dreams and hope and do everything you can to achieve them. In the meantime, don’t look past the present because that’s where your opportunities are to be happy.
“Don’t let yesterday take up too much of today.”
Focus on Facts. One of the worst behaviors I’ve noticed about Seniors is their want and willingness to gossip through rumors and idle talk. I think those people are largely unhappy and that’s why they spend time expressing their own unhappiness by speaking negatively about others. Why? It’s so fruitless, especially if that speech is false and not founded on fact, which it often is. There is always something good in people, even if you have to look hard for it. Find it and say something nice. If not, don’t say anything at all. As my latest Chinese Fortune Cookie said, “be quicker of mind than of tongue.”
“A hero is an ordinary person who makes the right choice in a difficult situation. You are a potential hero in every important decision you make. We each can make a difference in this world, once choice at a time.”
Focus on Your Unique Self. How many times do you blame someone else for what happened to you, it’s their fault regardless of the real circumstances. I decided long ago the best medicine for how to handle negative things in my life is to focus on me. I can’t control how others behave, but I can control how I behave, and how I accept why bad things happen. I find humility works great…when you accept that, you will find a sense of calm. “What creates chronic damage to our health is to hang on to negative feelings involving another person’s words or actions from a past event.” It’s like watching a horror movie in slow motion in our minds for months or years—and it ends up hurting us, not them.
“You cannot fail at being yourself.”
“Be the reason someone smiles. Be the reason someone feels loved and believes in the goodness of people.”
Roy T. Bennett
Focus on Optimism. As I’ve said so often in my blogs, my BoomerGuy is the most positive and optimistic person on the planet. Sure he can get testy when things don’t go just right, but it’s merely a shadow behind his optimism. He rallies, addresses the issues with new solutions and never gives up. Let that be a lesson to all of us. His favorite saying, “if you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got.”
“When you feel like you’ve tried something for the last time, consider trying once more. The last time doesn’t really come until you’ve succeeded, and the final count can’t be tallied until you’ve given it your all. Regardless of past tries, ‘one more time’ could make all the difference.”
These are simple life changing, inspirational ideas to help get you through these tumultuous times. They work for me, and I know they’ll work for you. The best news, embracing each of these will undoubtedly put a smile on your face because you’re living the life, and happiness has crept into your soul. There isn’t enough moisturizer on earth to counterbalance the effects these life changing ideas will have on your aging. You want to get rid of the wrinkles—think happy.
And don’t forget to spend time with your family. There’s nothing sweeter and more memorable. And most of all, gratifying. It will make you feel good and displace any negative thoughts you might have swirling around—and that is what this message is all about.
I want to be your constant reminder that as Boomers and Seniors we are still relevant. We continually contribute and make a positive difference.
Your Number One BoomerGal. Connie.
Editorial contribution by Wellness Pursuits, Michelle Hawk, Editor