Find Joy in Your Life – Live Longer and Feel Better

Find Joy in Your Life – Live Longer and Feel Better

find joy in your life live longer and feel betterTo find joy in your life, to live longer and feel better, you need only to stop chasing the impossible. The quest for longer life has fascinated mankind for centuries. From the search to find the fountain of youth to creating Frankensteins to cryogenics, we’ve looked. On any given day, you can see advertisements to for products to extend life. From special diets to supplements, from medical procedures to exercise regimens, you can see it all. Yet somewhere in the fray, perhaps the most effective formula for life extension has been pushed to the back-burner.

In fact, its simplicity as a concept may have been too difficult for many people to accept as a possibility. And yet, it remains a strongly correlated habit resulting in longer life. This magical secret to longer life is (drumroll please).…. finding joy or gratitude in life.

The Advantages of Finding Joy in Your Life

A strong example is a section from Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers. It is about a small town in Pennsylvania in the 1950’s. The residents had almost every classical health marker for short lifespans. Most had a poor diet, smoked, drank etc., and yet life expectancy was remarkably high.

find joy in your lifeAfter years of research and analysis, the only conclusion researchers reached? The people in the town were simply happy, and this factor extended life.

While this is purely anecdotal in many ways, the study of joy and gratitude and its effects on mankind is growing. One such theory has been studied by B.L. Frederickson (1998, 2001), called the “Broaden and Build” theory. The theory states, “…. people’s daily experiences of positive emotions compound over time to build a variety of consequential personal resources.”

You Can Take These to the Bank – And You Should

In other words, the more positive emotions that you feel over time go into a “bank”. Positive emotions such as happiness, joy, gratitude etc. compound and build a bank of feel good nostalgia. So, think of joy, gratitude and happiness as an investment you can make and draw upon in the future. Your memories or nostalgia of those feelings can become an account to be drawn from as needed. I’m sure you’ve experienced times when remembering good things has lifted you out of a pit.

find joy in your lifeThis brings to mind the classic book by Viktor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning. It is a practical example in the most horrifying of scenarios. It is an example of what the power of focusing on positivity and nostalgia can produce. He talks in the book about the “ultimate personal freedom,” and infers that it is the secret to longevity. This nostalgia will always be more productive and effective for us over time… more than any diet, more than any supplement, more than any medical procedure.

Do These Things to Live Longer and Feel Better

Finding joy in your life to live longer and feel better may seem like a vague or abstract concept. However, if you wrap your brain around it, there are little things you can do on a daily basis to increase joy in your life.

In a research article in the American Journal of Epidemiology, Strawbridge et al. noted this: “Cross-sectional comparisons at follow-up revealed significantly higher community involvement, physical activity, and mental health for those aging successfully.” You can do simple activities like exercise (especially within a group), meditation, and spending time in nature. Making the decision to participate can be very effective at helping you to find joy in your life. These practices may also help you to live longer and feel better.

The old impasse of “age is just a number” ultimately does have merit. Our lifestyle and ability to maintain a joyful and positive mindset is crucial to a quality of life that precludes long life and well-being. Other ways proven to help you find joy in your life are getting enough sleep, developing your spiritual practice and deepening relationships.

Ultimately, our ability to create a lifestyle and mindset that can find joy and gratitude in any situation is an endeavor worth pursuing. So, find joy in your life ladies! Fill your banks with all the goodness you can. Live longer and feel better! and…..

Thrive! OK?

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Photo credit: polomex on VisualHunt / CC BY-NC-SA                                                          Photo credit: Nationaal Archief on Visualhunt / No known copyright restrictions

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RobinMelissa HazlettEric ChenrmjiaTiffany Domena Recent comment authors
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Melissa Hazlett
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Melissa Hazlett

Very nice topic. I really like this view point. I have been reading up on the power of the mind and how it can affect you.
Not that this is the exact same thing but runs along the same line. Making sure to live your life to the full, be happy, be spiritual, and be active. These are all great concepts that I think each one of us should embark on.
Thank you so much for this.

Robin
Admin

Thank you for coming by Melissa. It’s always good to meet people who are seeking and finding the good things in life. Take care

rmjia
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rmjia

I’m in my 30s and I find that your article is an eye opener. I used to be so busy that I didn’t have time to stop and smell the flowers. I could not sleep well too. It did affect my emotions and well being. I am learning those activities you have mentioned like exercise, meditation and being with nature. Even to smell the air, doing simple things and being thankful everyday is slowly bringing some positivity and joy in my life. Your article made me realise with these steps, it makes life go for the better and it is… Read more »

Robin
Admin

Thank you rmjia. Sometimes we just need to be reminded to do the simple things. We certainly need each other. Come back and remind me OK? 🙂

Eric Chen
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Eric Chen

Hi Robin,

Thanks for sharing! I’m not 50 yet, but I feel like you should try to find joy no matter what age you are.

Personally, I feel like finding joy is part of having a good attitude and it affects everything you do in life. When you have a positive outlook, you receive positive outcomes.

I will most definitely share this with my mother though! There are a few things I am not doing in your article, so I will implement those in my life as well.

Cheers,
Eric

Robin
Admin

Thanks for coming by Eric, and for sharing with your mom also. You are so right about attitude. We have to work at it for sure, as it seems negativity rules in the media. But we can do this right? Take care and visit anytime.

Cyrus
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Cyrus

The more I think about this, the more I realize how right you are. I need to practice being more joyful in my daily life,

My grandma is in her 70’s, and I’ve never thought about it until now, but whenever I see her, she seems to have this joy around her, and with here. There are very few times where I haven’t seen her bustling with joy and energy.

Thanks for this advice. It’s something I’m definitely going to think about for the future.

Robin
Admin

Say hi to your grandma for me and tell her about the site 🙂 Maybe she can share some of her wisdom and adventures with the rest of us. Thanks for stopping by Cyrus.

Tiffany Domena
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Tiffany Domena

Hello Robin,

Maintaining joy and contentment is definitely a practice worth investing in. It’s so easy to let emotions go haywire by allowing the motions and obligations of life to monopolize out attentions.

I like the things you’ve recommended: going in nature, exercise and community involvement. I want to add one thing that works well for me.

I find practicing gratitude is also a great medicine for maintaining joy in my life. Sometimes, when I’m upset about something, I try to refocus my attention on the parts I can be grateful for, and it helps.

Great article.

Robin
Admin

Thanks so much for stopping by Tiffany; and yes, gratitude is so very important for our joy factor. It is something we have to practice, as it isn’t always our first response in many situations. I’m thankful you came by 🙂

Gary
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Gary

Although I’m not a woman, I’m well beyond 50, so I hope you’ll let me sneak in. Longevity has been an interest of mine since my 40’s when I realized I was growing older. I adopted a plant-based diet then and I think it has helped. I’ve outlived two of my meat eating siblings. Also, I’ve had the good fortune to meet a few people who were extraordinarily kind. They exuded a peaceful energy that made me aware of the careless, angry energy I threw off. I doubt I’ll ever achieve their tranquility, but I’ve gotten better. I was pleased… Read more »

Robin
Admin

I feel peace just reading your comment Gary. I’m glad you have found some good people, and I’m sure you can attest to the power of positive social interaction. Simplifying is good for us. It increases time we can spend doing those simple things that bring us so much pleasure. We live on a pond, so plenty of nature, sounds, and beauty. Our kitties are an enjoyable source of entertainment, although I wish their favorite time wasn’t 3AM! 🙂 Thanks for coming by and commenting. You’re always welcome!

Sergej
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Sergej

I definitely can admit that enough sleeping, developing a spiritual practice and deepening relationships has a big impact on your happiness. Next to it, I can see how my mothers life has changed after her divorce. I don’t want to animate anyone to leave their partners, but since my mother is alone and lives her personal freedom, she is the happiest person I know in my day to day life. Viktor Frankl is right. Personal freedom is indeed one of the biggest sources of happiness. Next to relationships, I would say. I think those two factors are important to maintain… Read more »

Robin
Admin

Thank you Sergej for stopping by and sharing your thoughts on the topic. Your mom is lucky to have such an insightful, caring son. You are right about relationships. One of the most important things we can do is make sure there are quality times, being present with those we love and care about. The years go by quickly as we age, and social interaction is so very important for our wellbeing. Choose your friends wisely Sergej. Say hi to your mom!