Being thankful, or rather, adopting ‘an attitude of gratitude’ is essential to living healthfully. Why? Because feeling gratitude and appreciating the positive or simply accepting the lesson in the moment—especially during challenging times—can re-energize us, help put us on the path to healing, and give hope. It’s a coping mechanism that goes beyond a bandaid solution to being a daily practice with real results for a happier, healthier life. Doesn’t that sound like a wonderful way to enter the retirement phase?
The positive effects of being thankful on the mind and body
Transforming retirement into a journey of thankfulness takes practice; and consistent daily action that over time, becomes a natural part of our being. That’s why it’s called a “gratitude practice”. Being thankful in such a specific, mindful way improves our mood and reduces stress, making it easier the next time something challenging comes our way to take it in stride. Being happy also boosts our endorphins, thereby our immune system, for an overall mind-body regenerative process.
5 ways to transform retirement into a journey of thankfulness
- Journaling every day is a cathartic way to express your feelings and gain perspective on them. Through writing, you begin to see an angle you might otherwise not have and transform your takeaways into those of thankfulness for what happened, positively or negatively, for how it serves you moving forward.
- Meditation that incorporates the five senses is an excellent way to ground you in the here and now to appreciate what’s around you, rather than dwell in the past or constantly worry about the future.
- Journeys are always better when shared! Nurturing your friendships and family connections can help you to appreciate your shared history and current passions. What better way to spend retirement than doing what you love, with those you love? Even just a quick end-of-day text to say “thanks for being in my life” or sharing some other moment you’re grateful for will end the day on a high note.
- While you’re sharing, consider making a difference in the lives of those you don’t know through the power of volunteering! A great way to share what shaped you and what you’re thankful for with others who could use a positive influence. The positive ripple effect goes both ways, we guarantee it!
- A healthy body, mind, and soul are the most important things not be thankful for. Read our 15 ways to stay active in order to contribute to your overall well-being as part of your thankfulness journey, because the more a body is in motion, the longer it’ll be energized to stay in motion!
Remember, gratitude is a choice! Some days it can feel a little harder than others to be thankful. But once you begin, the effects begin to take root, and being thankful for what you do have, rather than focusing on what you don’t, becomes second nature.
For more practical tips on mindful aging, scroll purposefully through our Inspiring Stories blog.