People who become happier and more content as they get older usually display these 7 behaviors

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Life is a journey, and with each passing year, we are afforded the opportunity to learn, grow, and evolve.

You might find yourself becoming more content and happier as you age, but have you ever wondered why? What are the key behaviors or attitudes that differentiate those who find increasing joy in life’s latter chapters from those who struggle to do so?

After observing and engaging with individuals who seem to grow more satisfied and joyful with time, I’ve put together this neat list of 7 things they usually do. If you find yourself nodding along to these behaviors, chances are you’re cruising down the road to a fulfilling and content life as you age. So, let’s dive in and see if these habits resonate with your journey!

1) Embracing change

One of the most notable traits of people who grow happier with age is their ability to embrace change.

Change is an inevitable part of life. As we age, we experience numerous transitions — children leave the nest, careers evolve, health fluctuates, and relationships mature.

For some, these changes can be daunting. However, individuals who tend to become more content as they get older view them not as obstacles but as opportunities for growth and renewal.

They understand that change is not something to be feared or resisted but rather embraced as a natural part of the life cycle. This acceptance allows them to navigate through life’s ups and downs with grace and resilience, continually finding new sources of happiness and fulfillment.

2) Welcoming solitude

In a society that often equates happiness with constant social interaction and activity, the idea of enjoying one’s own company might seem odd.

However, those who become more content over time understand that solitude is not synonymous with loneliness. In fact, it often serves as a powerful vehicle for self-reflection and personal growth. In fact, research shows that senior citizens who enjoy solitude exhibit a remarkable degree of psychological contentment. 

These individuals appreciate the quiet moments where they can connect deeply with their thoughts and feelings. They see solitude as a precious opportunity to recharge, realign with their values, and cultivate inner peace — all of which contribute to a deeper sense of contentment and happiness in their later years.

3) Practicing gratitude

Another common behavior among those who become happier with age is the consistent practice of gratitude.

Instead of dwelling on what’s missing from their lives, they regularly take time to acknowledge and appreciate what they have. They might keep a gratitude journal or simply make a mental note of things they’re thankful for each day.

This habit of acknowledging the good in their lives helps them maintain a positive outlook, even when faced with challenges. Moreover, it cultivates a deep sense of fulfillment and satisfaction, contributing significantly to their happiness in later life.

4) Staying active

As we age, it’s easy to let physical activity slip down our list of priorities. However, individuals who become more content over time know the importance of regular movement. Whether it’s a brisk walk, yoga, gardening or even dancing around the living room, staying active is a part of their routine.

Empirical evidence supports the notion that physical exercise leads to the release of endorphins, commonly recognized as ‘feel-good’ hormones. The activation of these endorphins induces positive sensations in the body, resulting in the mitigation of stress and an elevation of mood.

Making a point to stay active isn’t just about staying fit; it’s like giving your body and mind a big dose of happiness and contentment. It’s like saying, “Hey, I’m taking care of myself, and it feels pretty darn good!”

5) Forgiving the past

Life is never without its share of regrets, mistakes, and missed opportunities. For some, these past experiences can become heavy burdens, casting long shadows over their present and future.

Yet, those who seem to grow happier as they get older have learned a profound truth: forgiveness is a gift you give to yourself. They understand that holding onto past hurts and disappointments only serves to rob them of their present joy.

Rather than clinging to past wrongs or dwelling on what could have been, these individuals choose to forgive – not necessarily because others deserve forgiveness, but because they deserve peace.

In releasing the past, they free themselves from the chains of regret and bitterness, making room for greater happiness and contentment in their later years.

6) Limiting material possessions

In a society that frequently links happiness to material possessions, those who find increasing contentment with age have uncovered an alternative reality.

Instead of chasing joy in the newest gadgets or larger homes, they delight in simplicity. They’ve come to understand that amassing material possessions often brings more stress rather than less.

Instead of constantly striving for more, they focus on enjoying what they already have. They value experiences over things and relationships over status symbols.

This shift in focus away from material possessions allows them to appreciate the simple pleasures of life, leading to a deep sense of contentment and happiness as they age.

7) Nurturing relationships

As we age, our social circles may shrink, right? However people who tend to grow happier with time understand the importance of maintaining and nurturing their relationships.

Whether it’s a weekly phone call to a childhood friend, a monthly book club meeting, or simply spending quality time with their family, they make it a priority to stay connected with their loved ones.

They understand that these bonds are not just about companionship. Each interaction provides an opportunity for mutual support, shared joy, and the comforting reassurance that they’re not alone.

So, by giving a little TLC to these relationships, they’re basically building this awesome network of love and backup, adding a big dose of happiness to their later years.

Live well, age happier: Your best chapters await!

While the seven behaviors we’ve explored provide a roadmap to growing happier with age, it’s important to remember that happiness is a deeply personal and subjective experience. What brings joy and contentment to one person may not do the same for another.

Moreover, the journey towards growing happier with age is not always a linear path. There will be days when you feel more content than others, and moments when old fears or insecurities resurface. This is all part of the human experience and it doesn’t mean you are off track.

The key is to approach this journey with patience and compassion towards yourself. Understand that growth often involves stepping outside your comfort zone, confronting your fears, and making peace with your past. It’s about learning to appreciate the simple joys of life while also navigating its complexities with grace and resilience.

Remember, too, that it’s never too late to start. Whether you’re in your 40s, 50s, 60s or beyond, every day presents a new opportunity to cultivate happiness and contentment.

Lost Your Sense of Purpose?

In this age of information overload and pressure to meet others’ expectations, many struggle to connect with their core purpose and values. It’s easy to lose your inner compass.

Jeanette Brown created this free values discovery PDF to help clarify your deepest motivations and beliefs. As an experienced life coach and self-improvement teacher, Jeanette guides people through major transitions by realigning them with their principles.

Her uniquely insightful values exercises will illuminate what inspires you, what you stand for, and how you aim to operate. This serves as a refreshing filter to tune out societal noise so you can make choices rooted in what matters most to you.

With your values clearly anchored, you’ll gain direction, motivation and the compass to navigate decisions from your best self – rather than fleeting emotion or outside influences.

Stop drifting without purpose. Rediscover what makes you come alive with Jeanette Brown’s values clarity guide.

 

Mia Zhang

Mia Zhang blends Eastern and Western perspectives in her approach to self-improvement. Her writing explores the intersection of cultural identity and personal growth. Mia encourages readers to embrace their unique backgrounds as a source of strength and inspiration in their life journeys.

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