Published on March 27, 2018

Look on the bright side

Change is a part of life.

But as we age, change may often involve loss.

Pensive seniorOur children may move away. We may lose a loved one. Or our health may take a turn for the worse.

That’s why, especially later in life, a positive attitude is so important. “Staying upbeat can help us adapt to losses, be resilient, and still find joy and meaning in life,” says Catherine Khayati, Mercy LIFE Social Work Manager.

Some of us may naturally be more positive than others. But even so, it’s possible to grow our sunny side—and to make the most of happy times and to weather tough ones. Here’s how:

Count your blessings, large and small. Make it a habit to think of all the people and experiences in your life you’re thankful for—now and in the past.

Look for the silver lining. There’s often a positive in a negative situation. To find it, ask yourself questions like these: Has what I’m facing helped me grow? Are my relationships stronger? What makes me proud about how I coped?

Try to spend time with positive people. Good moods are contagious.

Do something that gives you pleasure. Play with your grandkids. Resume a hobby you’ve let slide. Or call a faraway friend or family member who always cheers you up.

“You might start a gratitude journal and jot down things that make you smile,” Catherine suggests.