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Three Secrets for a Long and Happy Life

Three Secrets for a Long and Happy Life

It's not only about diet and exercise!

By FamilyTime

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We all know that for a long and happy life, we have to take care of ourselves. We should eat sensibly, exercise regularly, and keep our weight, cholesterol and blood pressure levels under control.

Ho hum. What else is new? 

Happily there are a lot more stimulating ways to stay healthy and age gracefully and cheerfully. Studies show that social interactions, intellectual curiosity, and an optimistic attitude are just as important as exercise and diet. Maybe more so!

1.  Make New Friends

You can never have too many  friends. It’s fun to make new ones, even while keeping the old ones. Don’t ever think you are “done” making friends. Socializing with people we don't usually see or interact with keeps our minds active and engaged.

Choose friends from all age groups. Your most intimate friends might be close to your age, but you will get a lot from establishing relationships with older people, and those younger than you, too. The different perspectives, life experiences, and attitudes of these folks will enrich your own outlook.

2.  Keep Learning

Just because the kids keep you busy or your job is all consuming, don’t stop learning. You may decide to try for a different job at work, take a course at a local college, join a discussion group at the library or learn how to sail. If this is too structured to fit into your life, pick up a book and start reading.

Encourage older people you know to do the same. It’s never too late to learn something new and doing so not only is fascinating, it’s very good for the brain.

If you have always wanted to learn about the Civil War, for instance, or have thought it might be fun to refinish furniture, what’s stopping you? Absolutely nothing!

3.  Keep a Positive Attitude

Life is hard but it’s also full of pleasure and happy surprises. Look for ways to turn disappointments into opportunities or sadness into time for reflection. The glass half full is always a good goal to aim for. Negativity does no one much good.

If you think you can do something, you can. This does not mean being unrealistic. You may have poor health or face difficult family or financial situations, but if you believe you can handle what life hands you, you probably can.

Of course, you cannot ignore your daily workout or eat ice cream sundaes with abandon, but research indicates that active social networks, intellectual development, and a good outlook are as important as anything else to making our days on the planet happy and productive ones.


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