If you want to be happy as you get older, say goodbye to these 12 behaviors

Eliza Hartley by Eliza Hartley | March 9, 2024, 2:58 pm

Growing older… it’s something we all do. But who says it has to be full of frowns and worry?

Believe it or not, waving goodbye to certain habits can make our later years a whole lot happier.

So, settle into your favorite chair and let’s chat about 12 behaviors to ditch if you want to smile more as you age.

You may just find a new lease on life!

1) Hanging onto grudges

We’ve all been hurt or wronged at some point in our lives. But clinging to these past hurts? That’s a one-way ticket to Unhappyville.

Holding a grudge is like carrying around a backpack full of rocks – it’s heavy, it’s uncomfortable, and it makes the journey so much harder than it needs to be.

As we get older, it’s time to put that backpack down. Forgive those who’ve hurt us. Not for them, but for us. For our peace of mind and for our happiness. Forgiveness doesn’t mean forgetting or saying what happened was okay. It simply means we’re choosing our happiness over our hurt.

2) Neglecting your health

As we age, it becomes even more crucial to take care of our health. But often, we tend to ignore the signals our bodies send us. We push through the fatigue, dismiss the aches and pains, and shrug off regular check-ups.

This behavior? It’s got to go. Our bodies are our homes – we only get one and we need to take care of it. So, start making your health a priority. Eat nutritious foods, get regular exercise, drink plenty of water, and get those check-ups.

Your older self will thank you!

3) Worrying about the future

We all do it. We spend hours, days, even years worrying about what the future holds. I remember a time in my life when I was constantly worried about tomorrow. What if I didn’t get that promotion? What if my kids didn’t get into a good school? The list was endless.

But here’s the thing, all that worrying? It didn’t change a thing. The future unfolded as it was meant to, regardless of my worries. All that stress and anxiety only robbed me of my happiness in the present.

Yes, it’s important to plan and prepare, but let’s not forget to enjoy today. After all, the present moment is all we truly have. Let’s make the most of it!

4) Living in the past

Dwelling on the past can be as harmful as worrying about the future. It’s easy to get stuck in a loop of regret or nostalgia, but it’s important to remember that we can’t change what has already happened.

Now, here’s an interesting fact: According to psychologists, dwelling on the past can increase our risk of depression and anxiety. It can also prevent us from enjoying our present and planning for our future.

As we age, it’s time to let go of the past and focus on the now. This doesn’t mean we forget our past or ignore its lessons. Instead, we acknowledge it, learn from it, and then we keep moving forward. Life is happening right here, right now!

5) Overworking yourself

In this fast-paced world, it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle. We often end up pushing ourselves too hard, working long hours, and barely taking time to rest.

But let’s take a moment to think about this. At the end of our lives, will we wish we’d spent more time at the office? Or will we wish we’d spent more time with our loved ones, or pursuing our passions, or simply taking time for ourselves?

Overworking not only takes a toll on our health but also robs us of precious time – time that we could spend making beautiful memories. So, as we get older, let’s make sure we’re working to live, not living to work.

6) Ignoring your passions

One of the biggest regrets I have is not giving enough time to my passions when I was younger. I loved painting, but with the demands of work and family, it somehow took a backseat.

But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized just how much joy and fulfillment it brings me. So, I decided to make time for it again. And let me tell you, it’s been one of the best decisions of my life. Not only has it provided a creative outlet, but it has also become a source of relaxation and happiness.

As we age, it’s crucial to keep our passions alive. They add color to our lives and keep us feeling young at heart. Whatever your passion may be – whether it’s painting, gardening, cooking, or dancing – make time for it. Trust me, you won’t regret it!

7) Being a people-pleaser

Here’s the hard truth: You can’t please everyone. No matter how hard you try, there will always be someone who isn’t satisfied. I’ve spent a good chunk of my life bending over backward trying to keep everyone happy. And let me tell you, it’s exhausting.

As we get older, it’s time to put a stop to this. It’s not your job to keep everyone happy at the expense of your own happiness. It’s okay to say no. It’s okay to put yourself first sometimes.

Your happiness matters just as much as anyone else’s. So, stop being a people-pleaser and start being a self-pleaser. After all, you deserve happiness too!

8) Not asking for help

Let’s face it, we all need a little help sometimes. But many of us have this notion that asking for help is a sign of weakness. In reality, it’s the exact opposite.

This fact might surprise you: According to a study published in the Journal of Social Psychology, people who ask for help are actually perceived as more competent than those who don’t. Why? Because asking for help shows that you’re aware of your limitations and are willing to learn and grow.

As we age, it’s important to recognize that it’s okay to ask for help when we need it. Whether it’s physical help, emotional support, or just a listening ear, don’t be afraid to reach out!

9) Neglecting your relationships

In my younger years, I often found myself so consumed by my career and personal ambitions that I neglected my relationships. Friends, family, even my spouse at times, were put on the back burner.

But as I’ve grown older, I’ve realized just how important these relationships are. They’re what make life rich and meaningful. They’re the ones who lift us up when we’re down, celebrate our victories, and stick by us through thick and thin.

10) Comparing yourself to others

I’ll be honest here. I’ve spent way too much time comparing my life to others’. Social media doesn’t help either, with its endless stream of picture-perfect moments making us feel like we’re falling behind.

But here’s the truth. Those perfect moments? They’re just a fraction of people’s lives, the highlight reel. Everyone has struggles and challenges that we don’t see. So, comparing our lives to theirs? It’s like comparing apples to oranges.

As we get older, it’s time to stop this comparison game. Focus on your own journey, your own growth. Because every person’s life unfolds at its own pace, and that’s okay!

11) Staying in your comfort zone

We all love our comfort zones. They’re safe, they’re familiar, they’re… well, comfortable. But nothing ever grows there. I’ve learned this the hard way.

Taking risks and trying new things can be scary. But it’s also how we grow and learn. It’s how we discover new passions and meet new people.

So as we age, let’s push our boundaries a bit. Let’s try that new hobby or take that trip we’ve always dreamed of. Life begins at the end of your comfort zone!

12) Not expressing gratitude

Here’s the last one and it might be the most important one: Not expressing gratitude.

We often take our lives for granted – the roof over our heads, the food on our table, the loved ones in our lives. But these are blessings not everyone has.

As we grow older, it’s essential to acknowledge these blessings and express our gratitude for them. It not only helps us appreciate what we have but also brings a sense of contentment and happiness.

Start each day with a thankful heart. It’s a game-changer, I promise!