How to Find Happiness at Any Age

Striving for Happiness

Grandfather, father and son surfing at the beach
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In my opinion, being happy is a feeling most people strive for. I think on some level we all want to be happy, otherwise life would seem pretty bleak. I know I do. When I feel happy, I am productive, motivated, creative, and on fire.

For many, aging can create a lot of unhappiness, as things that once felt in our control now feel out of control, like our health, our bodies, and even our relationships with others. That's why it's even more important to engage in daily activities that cultivate happiness and to build that emotional muscle, so that you can experience overall well-being.

Can We Choose Happiness?


Happiness is a fleeting emotion. We are dynamic individuals with many layers to us that feel tons of different emotions in any given minute. Experts will tell us that you can choose happiness, and although that may seem logical, I have found that most people struggle with this concept.

Happiness is not something you capture, and many of us sought to find it in external things like money, cars, big houses, etc, but the bottom line is that none of those things bring true happiness, as they are just things. I always thought having the fancy house, nice cars, and being able to travel anywhere in the world would bring me all the happiness I ever desired, but that wasn't the case.

True happiness, contentment and joy need to be nurtured, cultivated, and practiced.

Here are my favorite tips on ways you can feel happier in your life:

Leave Your Seat and Move Those Feet


Exercise is one of the best ways to feel happy. Neurotransmitters and endorphins are released during exercise that support you in feeling good. Your brain chemistry actually changes when you exercise and new neurons are created.

Studies have shown that physically active people can recover from depression more quickly than non-exercisers, and it attributes to better mental health as we age.

Not an exerciser? That's OK — just get up and move, even if it's a walk for 10-20 minutes a day, and work yourself up from there.

Connect With Others


Human connection is one of the most important factors in overall happiness and feeling good. In our busy world today, it's easy to skate through life with our heads buried in TV, electronics, or other distractions.

Making an effort to deeply and authentically connect with other human beings will leave us with an overall sense of well-being and meaning in the world. When we have interpersonal relationships with others, we feel a sense of belonging. It is in our nature to want to be close with others and connect, so reach out to someone today whether it's an old friend, or a new one waiting to be made.

Be of Service


What I find as I become more and more successful over the years is that being of service is the one thing that brings me true, authentic happiness. As I said before, it wasn't the cars, the money, or any of those things, but when I am of service to the people in this world, I feel a very strong sense of connectedness and inner happiness that I have never felt from any external thing. My work with the United States Armed Forces and Push Ups for Charity is some of the most important work I do and brings me joy and a humble connection with the greater good. I am able to give back to those who give so much to us each day.

What can you do to be of service today? Try asking someone how they are and listening with your whole heart to what they have to say.

Be Grateful for What You Have Now


Expressing gratitude may sound cliche, but studies have shown that feeling gratitude for the things we do have, versus focusing on the things you want or don't have brings a strong sense of internal happiness if practiced regularly.

So, take a minute right now to think of all the people in your life you feel grateful for and the experiences you've had that have warmed your heart. See, it's almost impossible to feel anything but happy when living in the attitude of gratitude.

Spend Time in Nature


Spending time outside has been known to energize us and give us a feeling a vitality. Connecting to nature is almost as important as connecting with humans.

Take some time and go outside. Look around. Listen to the wind blowing through the trees. Smell a flower. Get lost in the woods. Whatever you do, get outside as much as you can and see how it starts to change your happiness barometer.

Find a Happy Hobby


Having a hobby that you enjoy is also an important part of cultivating happiness. I love to ski. Skiing makes me happy.

Find something you enjoy doing, and do it as often as you can. This will begin to spark those inner feel-good feelings and your creative spirit.

Put on a Smile


Look, feeling happy every moment is just not possible. We are intricate human beings with a whole network of emotions.

It's OK to experience sadness once in a while — or fear. These are important emotions too and ones that help to catapult us forward into seeking happiness. We wouldn't know happiness if we didn't know sadness. So embrace them all, and begin your practice of cultivating happiness as I outlined above. Put a smile on your face and get out in the world. That's a start.

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