The following article of mine has been featured in the debut edition of the new website, “Generation Fabulous”. This is a fantastic new site for, about and by Women Over 50. I am very honored to be part of it. At the end of my article below is a link to their website. I hope you get a chance to visit there and read some of the other articles written by some extremely wise and talented Women Over 50.
Are some people just born with the happiness gene? Do we have any influence at all? Yes to both. Genetics can play a part but we also have control at this point now in our life.
Are you someone that goes through your life blaming your unhappiness on someone else and something that has happened to you in the past? Do you blame your parents or an ex-spouse? Do you blame your upbringing, or your school, or your parents’ divorce, or just bad luck? Doesn’t there have to be a point where you stop being a victim and start taking control of yourself and your life? As a Woman Over 50, I certainly don’t want to give up that control. Shouldn’t we be in charge of our own life by now?
It’s shown that our genetics are responsible for our happiness by about 33%. That leaves a major 67% that we can control ourselves. Or are you more comfortable just falling back on that 33% and letting it guide you the rest of your life?
There is no use in wishing that our past was different. It is what it is! Accept that and move on. Yes, it might be a little bit harder road for those that maybe started out with a more difficult, negative life, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t control it now. Don’t hold on to those negative emotions, thoughts and excuses. You have permission to let them go and move on.
Life does get hard, there is no question about it. We can’t just hide from life and put our head in the sand and ignore bad things that happen. Even if bad things don’t happen TO you, it is still sometimes hard to escape bad or sad emotions. The media and news and even the web sites and news headlines that pop up on your computer every day is hard to get away from. We have the ability, though, to manage it.
I know I have a tendency to watch too much news. Most of it not being good news! I listen to too much political back and forth. I can get sucked into Facebook discussions. And guess what I now notice and realize? This all affects me and my day. I can get really worked up about events that are sad or bad or scary. I can’t make it go away and I can’t pretend that it doesn’t exist, but I do have the ability to control how much attention I give it. I’ve started to turn the TV off more often. I’m really trying to scroll past Facebook posts that could suck me into an argument.
As Women Over 50, we can also get sucked into the negative emotions of many life changes that start to occur. Are you suffering from the Empty Nest Syndrome, aging, new aches and pains, loneliness, and boredom? I’m sure some of you can come up with more. Now think of all the positive that this time in our life can bring. Such as more time for ourselves, a quiet and clean home, an extra bedroom to turn into an office or work space just for you, time to start a hobby or take a class, more time to spend with your spouse, time to travel, grandchildren, children that are becoming mature adults, and the list can go on and on. Everyone’s list may be a little different. Write down your own list and you’ll soon realize that this is a great time of life!
Negative seems to have a stronger influence than positive sometimes. We tend to give it more weight and let it make a larger impact on us. So we need to balance it out with more positive events, thoughts and emotions. For the most part, this isn’t automatic. It takes a conscious effort and our brains need to be retrained. With practice, they can be.
We can tend to focus on negative and we just take positive for granted. Start keeping a gratitude journal, or at least write down positive things that may happen during your day. It doesn’t need to be anything major, just pay attention and appreciate the little things. If you focus on these positive events and emotions and make a point of writing them down, you’ll soon notice that the positive can easily outweigh the negative.
This article was featured at Generation Fabulous!
I am also a Happiness teacher for the Hapacus organization. I will be teaching an on-line course geared toward Women Over 50, starting April 16. You can check out the course details HERE