Saturday, June 14, 2008

Tips for Staying Young at Heart.

Are we having fun yet?
by Super tourist

No one likes being around a whining, complaining, stick-in-the-mud. So how do you keep time from changing you from a fun-loving, spontaneous thrill-seeker, to an angry old curmudgeon who is unhappy with life and everyone in it?

One answer is to keep the goal of staying young at heart on the top of your yearly resolutions. Happiness is not something that happens by chance, it’s something we have to work at every day. And one key to happiness is not to let the sorrows and obstacles of life drag down your body and mind.

We need to get outside our comfort zone, learn and experiment with new things, loosen up and enjoy daily delights. Here are a few tips I’ve rounded up to help keep an optimistic, big-hearted outlook in the coming years:

  • Surround yourself with loved ones. Family, friends, coworkers, pets, and anyone else who fits the bill. Staying in touch with people we love helps us feel included and appreciated. Having a friend helps keep loneliness at bay and gives us a reason to recover faster from illness.
  • Stay flexible. In both body and mind. Read, do puzzles, learn a new language or play cards. Try a new exercise or sport, anything from tai chi to basketball to juggling. Strengthen all your muscles for a strong and healthy life.
  • Be playful. Find activities you enjoy and do them often. Whether it’s riding a bike, going to the movies or joining a clown troupe. Try something you’ve always wanted to do, like learning to play the violin or taking a scuba-diving class.
  • Indulge in occasional luxuries. Have lobster at a fancy restaurant; rent the red Corvette you’ve dreamed of for your weeklong vacation. Stay at a 5-star hotel and get the massage, facial and Jacuzzi included. Or simply eat your favorite dessert or soak in a hot bath to relax. Treat yourself to things that make you happy.
  • Be silly from time to time. Go the local playground and don’t bring your kids with you. Play hide-and-go-seek with your grandkids. Watch a cartoon, go roller-skating again, hug a teddy bear and smile. Let your hair down (unless you like pigtails better) and laugh out loud.
  • Exercise. Exercise of all kinds makes our muscles stronger, helps us breath more deeply and alleviates stress. The key is to find a style you enjoy. If traditional weight lifting and aerobics don’t do anything for you, think about something else. Try a team sport like baseball, join a fossil club and hike to your destination, or add a trampoline to the backyard. Nothing keeps you young like an active and fit body.

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