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What Senior Citizens Can Do to Be Happy

While some senior citizens enjoy their lives more fully as they go on, others become depressed or anxious. Fortunately, there are several ways that seniors can become happier that require only minimal effort and money. These include owning a pet, staying involved in communities, and spending time in nature.
  1. Owning a Pet It is well documented that seniors who own pets benefit both physically and mentally. You will feel appreciated when a pet greets you or curls up on your lap after a tough day. You can talk to your pets about anything; they are completely non-judgmental and always have time for you even when other people do not. Pets have been shown to lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of a stroke or heart attack. They will also keep you active, even if all you have to do is feed them and clean their litter boxes. If you are able to walk on a regular basis, try getting a dog who will enjoy some daily exercise with you. Additionally, having a pet can be a great conversation starter. You might be surprised how many people will stop you to talk with you about your pet or to play with him. 
  2. Staying Involved in Communities People who stay busy tend to be the happiest. Keep your living space clean, organized, and uncluttered to minimize stress. Consider joining a neighborhood association, social group or a volunteer organization where you can meet new people and try a new activity. Instead of just watching TV or sleeping at home, try one of the following:

    -Start a collection
    -Plant a garden
    -Read a new series of books
    -Paint or draw
    -Write letters or start a journal 

  3. Spending Time in Nature Spending time in nature has a calming effect on people. Taking a walk through a park or forest is a great way to relax while getting some exercise. This is a great activity to do either by yourself or with a friend. If you cannot walk outside, try bringing nature into your home. A recent study showed that senior citizens who received flowers for their homes were less depressed, more active in their communities, more likely to initiate and maintain social contact and better able to perform well on short term memory tests. The flowers made them happier and made it easier to deal with the challenges of aging. 
Growing older comes with many difficulties, both mental and physical, and feeling depressed or anxious is quite common. Trying some of these activities may lead to a more fulfilling, relaxed life. Do not hesitate to talk to a doctor or counselor for additional ideas or for advice on how to start implementing these changes into your daily routine.

This guest post was written by Matthew Prince a writer for Depression Symptoms (DepressionSymptoms.NET).