6 Simple Ways To Grow Happier With Age

06/08/2015 09:41 pm ET | Updated Jun 08, 2015
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Here at Huff/Post50 we believe life only gets sweeter with age. You no longer worry about what others think. Your kids are out of the house and you have the freedom to do the things you want again. You're more confident and comfortable in your own skin.

Here are some ways you can make yourself even happier as you age.

1. Don't wait until the eleventh hour to save for retirement.
The spend now, save later thing might have been OK when you were in your 20s. But it's not something you can sustain without destroying your financial health. It might be fun to throw caution to the wind and live like a king now, but you don't want sheer panic to set in when you no longer have a steady stream of paychecks coming into your bank account. Pay off your debts, put a little away for a rainy day and make sure to have a retirement plan. You'll thank your younger self, one day. Promise.

2. Learn something new every single day.
Whether it's keeping up with technology, following the news or taking up a new activity, get yourself out there. Not only will interests and hobbies help keep you social as you age, being a lifelong learner can have positive effects on your health, too. Studies have shown that breaking your routine to learn something new can improve your memory, rather than sticking to the same old routine. Having a strong sense of purpose in your later years has also been found to have a sort of protective effect on the brain tissues.

3. Spend time with friends and family.
Feeling connected no doubt can increase our happiness and contentment with our lives. A 2011 Gallup Poll showed that for older adults, spending more hours being social each day correlated with more feelings of happiness and enjoyment, with fewer feelings of stress and worry. So call up your loved ones, make some new friends and make sure to at least say hello to your neighbor.

4. Stay fit to ensure your independence.
Besides keeping extra pounds off, boosting your mood and giving you energy, keeping your body in motion over the years will help you stay independent as you get older. Losing independence when it comes to day-to-day activities is commonly cited by seniors as a top fear of aging.

Staying fit doesn't mean you have to bench press your own body weight or live at the gym. Even taking walks or doing balancing exercises can help. A Harvard study of over 1,600 older men and women found that adding light exercises to your routine, even if you didn't work out before, can make you over 25 percent less likely to become disabled.

5. Embrace age.
No matter how much you loathe aging or wish you could go back in time to when you were younger, know that aging is a fact of life. Us common-folk are not the only victims. Even Hollywood stars have to accept the affects of time. Actress Goldie Hawn says aging is "all about how you make it." "It's all in your mind." Even George Clooney has said though there's "nothing fun about aging," you just have to make the best of what you've got. "You have to come to terms with getting older and not trying to fight it. I'm a big believer in the idea that you can't try to look younger." Well, if George says so...

6. Laugh. A lot.
Whether you're watching a funny video on YouTube or cracking jokes with friends, laughter truly is the best medicine. Even science says so. A 2014 study found that just watching 20 minutes of funny videos improved memory in older people and also reduced their levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. Some studies have also shown a link between laughter and a lower risk for heart disease. So go ahead, have a laugh. Just don't worry about the wrinkles!

Happy aging!

Earlier on HuffPost50:

"Master Class" Activities For A Successful Retirement
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