Want to age well? The answer isn’t in your 401k. Self-acceptance, a positive attitude, creative expression, purposeful living and spiritual connections all anchor successful and meaningful aging. In fact, these kinds of preparations are just as important as saving money for retirement, according to Ron Pevny, director of the Center for Conscious Eldering, in Durango, Colorado, and author of Conscious Living, Conscious Aging.
Two related studies from the University of California, Berkeley, suggest that the act of admiring the beauty of nature with awe and wonder can decrease inflammation in the body.
In her latest book, Better Than Before: Mastering The Habits Of Our Everyday Lives, happiness expert Gretchen Rubin fleshes out the needed details. She maintains that the shift into a happier way of being can be as simple as changing our habits, which she terms the invisible architecture of daily life. Rubin found, “We repeat about 40 percent of our behavior almost daily, so our habits shape our existence and our future. If we change our habits, we change our lives.”
We can start small in sometimes surprising ways that encourage personal, family, workplace and community well-being.
The role of emotional intelligence (EI) in helping to facilitate success and happiness in individual lives has become well accepted. People with high EI tend to share seven habits.
Focus on the positive. While not ignoring bad news, EI people have made a conscious decision to not spend much time and energy focusing on problems. Rather, they look at what’s positive in a situation and seek solutions. They focus on what can be done and what’s within their control.
Vision boards, a powerful tool for transformation, comprise a collage of pictures, phrases, poems and quotes that visually represent what we would like to experience more of in life. Building one works to uncover hidden desires and inner guidance that help clarify the details of a roadmap to our future. Anyone can create one in a few hours.