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Senior Articles of Interest:

Alzheimer's Disease

Cancer: A Death Sentence for the Elderly?

Depression among the Elderly

Health Insurance 101 for Senior Citizens 

Long term care insurance: What is it really?

Medical Conditions and Information for the Elderly

Medicare: How will it help me?

Medicaid Program: What do I need to know?

Medication Information for the Elderly

Nursing Homes: What critical information should I know?

Personal Safety for Grandma and Grandpa

Prescription Medication: You have to get it right

Psychiatric Medications

Social Security: Can I get it now?

Senior Housing Options

Senior Care Psychological Consulting

Caregiving Articles of Interest:

Is Elderly Care at Home the Best Choice?

Caregiving- Families Don't Always Play Fair

How The Sandwich Generation Can Help Their Parents Create a Legacy of Meaning  

Five Things You Must Do When Traveling With Older Parents   

The Life Cycle - Taking Care of Your Parents   

Home Care Training Increases Effectiveness of Caregivers   

Avoid Identity Theft from Obituaries   

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                               The Ten Steps to Happiness After 40

Step One: Engage in self-reflection.

 

I know ó easier said than done. Most of us go through our lives never really getting to know ourselves. After all, life offers us many distractions. Who has time for self-reflection? The only way to to be happy after 40 is to get to know yourself really well. This includes accepting and loving who you are. This includes accepting and loving the nervous habits that only you know about, those annoying addictions, and that little pot belly or slight jiggle. All your life perhaps, you have been reminded by a parental voice that you are not quite good enough or smart enough. Or maybe itís a loving spouse who, with all good intentions, is quick to remind you of your faults. It may be just society ó and all the pressures to look and act young while buying lots of stuff and having perfect children and lots of money. All this can make self-reflection a scary proposition, but this is the first and most important step towards happiness. Start with this simple question:

What makes me happiest?

Be completely selfish and honest with your answer

Step Two: Spend time on what makes you most happy.

 
Sounds logical, doesnít it? Examine your list. What are some of the things that make you happiest; and make you feel most alive? Perhaps itís the little things ó like reading the paper in the morning? Or reading a good book? Maybe itís spending time with those you care about? Maybe itís playing on the computer writing
music. The point is this: make sure each day contains at least some of these important elements. This will make you happy.

Donít give up these items to satisfy others and their demands. This will lead to illness and unhappiness.

Step Three: Find someone to take of and who can take care of you.

Humans need humans. We also need a few ó or even just one ó person we can think about all the time: planning activities with or just daydreaming about. Ideally, this will be the same person who spends their day planning for you, dreaming about you, perhaps making your special cup of tea when you come home at night. With someone to care for in a equal relationship, you will be happy. So many relationships end up lopsided, with one person more dependent on the other. Two people who place each otherís needs in high priority in a loving way enables happiness.

Step Four: Laugh a lot each day.

 
Humor
helps to focus the mind on the silly aspects of life. Humor helps break patterns such as negative thinking and addictive habits. Whether itís watching funny movies, going to see comedy or just joking with people you meet, you will lighten the stress of everyday life. This will help you to be happy.

I used to become so angry about sales calls to the house at dinner time. Now, it becomes my comedy hour. The other day someone called to offer some type of insurance. The offer was that if I agreed to buy the insurance, they would send out a ten dollar gift certificate for gas in 7-10 days. I told them I was out of gas today, and asked if they could overnight the coupon, so that I could have gas the following day. Then I asked them when their dinner break was. They told me, and I said I would call them back during their dinner break as I was having my dinner! The person said they werenít allowed to take calls during dinner!! Amazing, but you get the idea!
Laugh with others, and find comedy in your daily life. This will make you happy.

Page #2 Ten Steps to Happiness after 40 Coming Soon

About the Author:

Craig Nathanson is the author of P Is For Perfect: Your Perfect Vocational Day and a coaching expert who works with people over forty.

Visit Craigís online community at http://www.thevocationalcoach.com where you can take a class, get more ideas through Craig Nathansonís books and CDís, get some private coaching over the phone or in Craigís office, or read other stories of mid-life change and renewal.

Craig lives and works in Petaluma, California. His office is located at 921 Transport Way, Suite 3, Petaluma Ca, 94954. You can reach him at 707-775-4020 or at craig@thevocationalcoach.com.

Additional Information and webpage by Paul Susic MA Licensed Psychologist Ph.D. Candidate                                      

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