The secrets to a long and happy life
FROM HOLIDAYS, TO GOOD FOOD, TO GOSSIPING WITH FRIENDS, ROB KNIGHT REVEALS WHAT MAKES US MORE CONTENT
WANT to know the secret to a long and happy life? Of course you do.
You probably think it is something to do with eating well, exercising regularly and not drinking too much.
And yes, all of those things are important, but there is more to it than that according to older Brits.
Gossip, getting plenty of sun – and not working in an office were all cited by people over 55 as being key to ensuring you live a long and happy life.
Getting at least eight hours sleep, living somewhere rural and having a loving partner helps, while painting and drawing, seeing lots of the world and a small act of kindness every single day can also lead to a longer and contented existence.
Research of 2,000 adults aged 55 and over, commissioned by Bupa to mark Care Home Open Day, also found they first began to realise the secret to a happy life at the age of 49.
Joan Elliott, managing director of Bupa Care Services says: “We will all have our own theories on what makes for a happy and fulfilled life but it’s fascinating to get the insights of the older generation.
“Overall there are a number of themes
within our top 50 secrets to a long and happy life, namely love, friendship, creativity, eating well and being outside.
“Creativity appears to be especially important and perhaps this is because it stimulates the mind and allows us to express ourselves and release any frustrations.”
The survey also found that laughing an average of eight times a day also leads to a long and happy life.
Owning a pet and reading every day is recommended too, along with taking care of your appearance. Getting your five-a-day also has a positive effect – as does listening to music every day and working with people you get on with.
Going on a big holiday every
year is believed to make a difference as well, alongside enjoying chocolate and cake in moderation, and doing things for charity.
The survey also discovered that half of over 55s wish they had more time to do the things which make them happy – such as hobbies and spending time with family.
Those polled have an average of two hobbies on the go and dedicate more than 369 hours a year to them – the equivalent of 15 days in total.
Carried out by Onepoll, the Bupa research also found over 55s think creativity is key to being happy – something 35% wish they had more time for.
And being happy is ‘vital’ to our physical and mental wellbeing – nine
in 10 believe happiness improves our overall health levels.
And if you are worried about getting older, then you shouldn’t be because those polled, 37% said they are happier now than they ever have been.
“It’s fantastic to see so many respondents are happy with their lives,” adds Joan.
“Most people might think we’re happiest when we are younger but the research shows there is much to look forward to as we grow older – having more time to pursue hobbies is just one thing to be excited about.” WHETHER it’s cuddling up with your partner, greeting a friend with a big hug or a reassuring arm placed around your shoulder, the physical expression of positive regard between people through touch is hugely important.
It’s widely believed that physical affection isn’t simply something that we like or want; it’s something we need to nourish and sustain our wellbeing.
The potential negative effects that have been linked to a lack of physical affection are extensive. As children, a lack of affection can have profound effects on physical, emotional and social development.
Studies of orphaned children who are neglected or starved of affection have shown that they are more likely to have lower IQS, greater difficulty forming relationships and more physical and mental illness in later life. A lack of affection has even been shown to impede children’s physical growth.
In adulthood, a lack of affection has been linked to lower levels of happiness, social support and relationship satisfaction. People who feel they do not get enough affection are also more likely to experience loneliness, anxiety, depression
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Having a pet can make all the difference to the quality of your life
Most people think a good gossip keeps life interesting and us interested in life