People who are truly happy in their 60s usually follow these 9 principles of life satisfaction

Happiness is what we all want, isn’t it?

But in many ways, happiness is a moving target.

And often, seeking happiness itself won’t get us there. Instead, happiness often finds us when we are busy doing things that matter to us.

It’s also true that we ourselves are always moving and always changing. The person you are in your 60s is, hopefully, completely different person from who you were in your 20s or even your 40s.

So you can’t expect the same things that made you happy when you were barely out of your teens to still make you happy now.

Instead, it’s the principles of satisfaction we follow that determine our happiness, at any age.

Your 60s can be a wonderful time of achievement, reflection, self growth, and welcome change. And people who manage this time of transition while remaining happy usually follow these key principles.

1) Gratitude

This is one of the most important principles of life satisfaction at any age.

As we get older, it becomes more important than ever.

Here’s the thing: life is rough. You don’t need me to tell you that.

And if you have reached or are getting near your 60s, it’s inevitable that you will have taken some big hits along the way. Nobody spends six or seven decades on this earth without enduring some major losses.

You can let that make you bitter, dwelling on everything and everyone you’ve lost along the way. Or you can focus on what life has given you and be grateful for it.

The truth is, there’s always something to be grateful for. If you still have good health, that’s a major blessing in life and one you shouldn’t take for granted. Likewise, if you have the love of your children and your family, don’t forget it.

But it doesn’t even need to be anything that big. Don’t forget to feel gratitude for some of the smaller things in life. It could be something as simple as a good cup of coffee, a warm bath, or an enjoyable TV show.

If it helps, you can make gratitude a regular part of your life. Set aside time each day to focus on what you are grateful for, and even write it down.

Or, you can simply take a moment here and there to focus on everything you have to be grateful for.

2) Embrace change

The world is always changing. In fact, it seems like it’s changing faster than ever. By the time you reach your 60s, the world you live in is going to look very different from the one you knew was a child.

There’s no point getting sad or angry about that. After all, change is the fundamental law of the universe. Everything is changing all the time, including you, your cells splitting and dying and being born so that you are never truly the same person you once were.

The same is even more true of your mind.

You may not like the changes you see in the world around you. But ultimately, it’s not your world. It belongs to all of us and none of us at the same time.

Remembering this can help you to embrace change, even if you don’t like it. This enables you to find happiness and free yourself from worry about the problems of the world you can’t control.

3) Maintain social connections

It can be difficult to keep up with friends. Life often gets in the way, and we often lose the people who mean most to us.

But that’s why it’s so important to hold tight to those we have left.

It’s often supposed that the older we get, the fewer social connections we have. Our kids grow up and possibly move away. And as we leave the workforce, we often leave behind a lot of social interaction we used to get.

It doesn’t have to be that way. This study suggests that while older people have a smaller social network, they interact more frequently with that network.

Your 60s can be a great time for maintaining existing friendships and building new ones. After all, you probably don’t have kids to raise anymore. And as you leave the workforce, you’ll find yourself with plenty of time to spend socializing.

4) Keep active

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I know you don’t need another article telling you to eat right and exercise. But it’s repeated so often because it’s true.

Aging is inevitable, but we have a lot of control over how we experience it. Staying active, even in small ways, can help you preserve your strength and mobility into later life.

After all, it’s almost impossible to be happy when your health is bad.

Make sure you get enough exercise. Even a daily walk can help you maintain your fitness levels and help you stay active. Plus, it’s great for your mental as well as your physical health.

5) Keep learning

The human brain is a machine exquisitely designed to learn new things. But as we age, we often stop learning anything new.

That’s especially true if you retire, as you no longer need to learn new things to work.

But learning helps keep your brain performing at its best, which is especially important to fight the deterioration that can happen in your cognitive abilities.

In other words, keep learning, and you can keep your brain young.

Psychologist Romeo Vitelli points to several studies on the power of learning to stave off cognitive decline.

“Whether it involves learning a new language, a new skill, or how to play a musical instrument, the range of educational options available for seniors is greater than ever with more opportunities arising every day,” he says.

If you are retired, you’ll suddenly find yourself with plenty of time on your hands, so you have plenty of time to learn something new.

Pick up a new language. Attend a cooking class. Take a creative writing course and write that novel you’ve always thought about.

Your 60s can be a time of almost unprecedented freedom. What you do with that freedom defines the quality of the rest of your life.

And learning new things is a great way to keep your mind sharp and your interest engaged.

6) Stay mentally flexible

Learning can help keep your mind young. But just important is maintaining mental flexibility.

I’m talking about not getting set in your ways. Yes, you have opinions and a wealth of experience to draw on, but it’s important to remember that you still don’t know everything.

Staying mentally flexible means staying open to new perspectives and ways of thinking. This can keep you engaged in the world and keep your mind sharp even as your lifestyle changes.

7) Manage your finances

newimagesize 227 People who are truly happy in their 60s usually follow these 9 principles of life satisfaction

This is important at any stage of life. But for most people, your 60s will be a time of transition, and it’s important to create a solid financial base for your future.

If you are leaving the workforce, you need to make sure you have enough money to provide a decent standard of living now that you can no longer earn.

You may need to work part-time or find other ways of boosting your income which cannot only help you live a little more comfortably but can give you something to do.

Alternatively, you may now find yourself with time to manage your finances more actively. Maybe you want to start learning more about investing and other ways to maximize your income.

Or maybe you just want to relax and let the money take care of itself. If so, you’ll need to find a way for your finances to run themselves so that you can focus on other things.

8) Accept yourself and others

Again, this is never a bad idea at any age. But as you enter your 60s, it becomes more important than ever to know yourself really well and accept yourself for who you are.

Hopefully, you have the time now to focus on self-growth. This can help you accept yourself, warts and all, and find the true happiness that comes from being in touch with your inner life.

And when you become more accepting of yourself, you automatically become more accepting of others.

9) Savor the small moments

Finally, it’s important to remember that life, while it can seem sometimes like some epic journey, is actually mostly made up of small moments. If you can’t learn to enjoy those, you’ll never be truly happy.

Savor the little pleasures in life. Really taste that cup of coffee. Hold your partner’s hand, if you have one. Spend time with family and other people you love.

These are small things. But ultimately, they are what life is made of.

Happiness at any age

Lots of the principles listed above are good things to keep in mind at any age. But your 60s is such a major time of transition that it’s especially important to focus on the things that make you happy.

Keep these principles in mind, and your 60s could be one of the best times of your life.

Picture of Clifton Kopp

Clifton Kopp

Welcome to my writings on Ideapod! I'm a bit of a "polymath" in that I like writing about many different things. Often I'm learning from the process of writing. I hope you enjoy, and please leave a comment on one of my articles.

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