Sometimes life is so busy that we fail to stop, take a look around and think about all of the things we should be grateful for. Gratitude doesn’t just make us reflect and feel good about our lives, it actually has benefits to both physical and mental health. Some psychologists believe that gratitude and thinking like an appreciative older adult can lead to greater life satisfaction and happiness.
Younger people tend to look to the future and have more survival goals like paying the rent, grocery shopping, and maintaining a car. Older adults on the other hand have very different goals which tend to be more emotional in nature. They savor life and appreciate relationships more. They are grateful to be alive, to be part of a family and circle of friends. Older adults tend to express gratitude about their ability to exercise and get around independently.
Older adults also appreciate the fragile nature of life. They perceive time on Earth as finite and limited. In doing so, they prioritize present-oriented goals as well as their emotional well-being. It’s important to be happy, no matter life’s circumstances.
Gratitude in later life is powerful. It is associated with not only life satisfaction and happiness, but can influence longevity. People who practice gratitude simply live longer, happier lives. The time to start thinking about aging is now. We have shown through science that a large part of aging is in our control.
So, stop and look around and count the many blessings in your life. You’ll be happier and possibly live longer.