Discover the Happiness Habit: Why Seniors Smile More and How You Can Too

Everyone knows that as you get older, your body goes through various changes that might make life less than easy. It’s less well-known that, as we age, we tend to be happier than when we were younger, but a recent study has actually proven this fact. Derek Isaacowitz, a scientist at Northeastern University, claims that older people are, on the whole, happier than young adults, and he believes he knows why that’s the case. But don’t worry – he also offers some tips on how anyone can improve their overall mood and outlook on life.

Stop Dwelling on the Negative

According to Isaacowitz’s research, the secret to happiness is surprisingly simple: stop paying attention to the negative aspects of life and focus instead on the positive. While this might seem obvious, the study found that younger people are more prone to dwelling on negativity. They tend to give more importance to negative images and incidents than their older counterparts.

Older people, on the other hand, are better at managing and improving their emotions. Isaacowitz claims this is because they are more likely to divert their attention away from negative stimuli and focus on positive aspects instead. He refers to this as “positive looking.”

The Relationship Between Positive Looking and Mood

Isaacowitz notes that there is a strong correlation between positive looking and an individual’s mood. Individuals who possess strong attentional abilities and who are better at maintaining positive looking patterns often experience an improvement in their overall mood.

But if younger people are moreaffected by negativity, how can they learn to adopt these positive looking patterns too? And can these skills really be learned? The good news is that, in many cases, they can.

Tips for Developing Positive Looking Patterns

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution, but here are some approaches that can help people of any age develop positive looking patterns, contributing to a brighter outlook on life:

1. Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a meditation technique that entails focusing on the present moment and becoming aware of the sensations and thoughts you’re experiencing, without judgment. Incorporating mindfulness meditation into your daily routine may help you become more aware of your thoughts and emotions and redirect them when negative thoughts crop up.

###2. Keep a Gratitude Journal

A gratitude journal is simply a dedicated place to record things for which you’re thankful. By noting these positive aspects, you’re training your brain to focus on the good, rather than dwelling on the bad. Over time, this can become a habit that helps to improve your overall mood and outlook.

3. Set Personal Goals

Setting personal goals can assist you in maintaining a positive outlook and a sense of purpose. By working towards goals, you’re providing yourself with a sense of forward momentum, which can help to keep feelings of stagnation or self-doubt at bay.

4. Surround Yourself with Positivity

Making a conscious effort to spend time with positive, optimistic people can help to improve your mood. It’s important to have a supportive network of friends and family who encourage and uplift you, rather than those who contribute to negative energy.

5. Limit Exposure to Negativity

This may seem self-evident, but it’s vital to limit exposure to negativity, both in your personal life and through other channels, such as social media or the news. It doesn’t mean burying your head in the sand but trying to maintain a healthy balance between staying informed and safeguarding your emotional well-being.

6. Cultivate Optimism

There’s a saying that states, “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.” Developing a positive mindset and focusing on the possibilities rather than the obstacles can be incredibly powerful in improving your overall well-being and happiness.

7. Engage in Activities You Enjoy

Finally, and this should go without saying, engaging in hobbies and activities you love can help you achieve and maintain a positive emotional state. By participating in activities that bring you joy, you’re filling your life with positive emotions that will eventually outweigh the negative.

While it might take some time and effort to develop positive looking patterns and habits, doing so can significantly improve your overall mood and outlook on life, regardless of age. By focusing on the good and breaking the habit of dwelling on negatives, you’ll be well on your way to achieving the happiness that usually only older people enjoy. So go ahead, seize the day, and start living a more positive and fulfilling life.