Looking Back on a Year Well Spent

Living a fulfilling life where we experience happiness is something that everyone wants. This is a great time of the year to look back and appreciate all the happy moments we’ve experienced; think about the qualities and factors that made those times enjoyable. Was it being with certain people, going to a special place, or doing specific things? Taking time to reflect allows us to create more of those quality moments. This is not only a way to make our lives richer and more rewarding, but it’s also a way to help us maintain our health.

Throughout our life, our purpose and what brings us joy changes. Our health and happiness are intertwined, so identifying what brings us joy and purpose is good for our healthy longevity. As a resident reminded me, we may not be the same as before the pandemic, but we are still a community where we give and receive social support, which is a good foundation for cultivating joy and feeling a sense of purpose.

When thinking about what brings us joy, it’s easy to identify the big things; a new baby in the family, a wedding, or a special party. If we look for the things that bring us joy on a daily basis, they are often the smallest pleasures or the simple things we experience every day. The more we recognize the small joyful moments, the more we are able to increase our happiness and contentment.

Having a sense of purpose is an important part of our successful aging journeys. We are all unique in the essence of who we are, what makes us happy, and what we contribute to our family, friends and community. At any age, having a project or hobby that we enjoy or even a close group of friends gives us a sense of purpose which improves our wellbeing. It can be anything big or small; just as long as it is something important to you and look forward to doing.

Asking these types of questions can help us uncover strategies for improving our health and happiness. We may not immediately have the answers, but it is worth taking time to think about, and possibly discuss it with someone close. Remember, our health and happiness are linked together; if you want to stay healthy, take a regular inventory of what gives you joy and you purpose. Next month, we will talk about taking action to reengage or discover our passions and purpose which in turn create joy and contentment.

 

Penny Vittoria
Successful Aging Coach

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