Sometimes retirement is not what you’ve expected it to be. You may feel bored, sad, lonely, or even depressed at the moment. And you might wonder, how do you stay positive in retirement?
Well, no need to look further. I’m here to help you out. I share 24 helpful tips on how to stay positive and happy in retirement. Let’s unpack right away!
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1) Live In A Positive Environment
Everything is energy. There is nothing spiritual about that, it’s just physics according to Albert Einstein. When you have a positive attitude, you create positive energy and that attracts positive results. It’s the law of attraction. And it also works the other way around. To be able to have a positive attitude, you need to live in a positive environment.
Look at your daily life and see what is negatively impacting your mood. What is it that your put your time, focus, and energy towards that is dragging you down? Do you feel comfortable in your house? And what are the most negative sources of information you spend time on? For example, when you watch a lot of news, you get affected by all the horrible things that happen around the world. Nobody feels better after that. Right? The same works with what Netflix series you watch, which magazines you read, and what radio or podcasts you are listening to.
See what areas you give your energy to and which areas are killing your mood. And make a switch to spending more or only time on the things that uplift your mood on a day-to-day basis. This, for sure will help you get into a more positive mindset.
2) Focus On Fun Things To Do
Try to spend as much time on the things you enjoy most because then there is little time left in the day to do the things you like to do less. Sound very logical, right?
And if you want to do some exploring for fun things to do in retirement, I have a great tip for you: MasterClass. The platform where you can follow online classes from the world’s best and most famous teachers.
The MasterClass Platform is a great opportunity to learn new skills and have something fun to do. Keep learning and staying active is a recipe for retirement success. And when you don’t know what things you enjoy in life, you actively need to seek and explore your way to what you like and love. Only trying it out and experiencing new things is when you know if you enjoy something or not. And you can use MasterClass to explore all sorts of new interests. Or upgrade the skills of your favorite hobby through tips and secrets from the world’s leading experts.
3) Practice Meditation
When you’re aware of your thoughts and feelings, you create a distance and the chance to also make a conscious decision to engage with them or not. Often we’re unconscious of our (negative) thoughts and get sucked into them without even noticing it. It’s the ‘Monkey Mind’. A negatively chattering mind that is taking you away from the moment. And also keeps you from positive thinking, but you can train the mind and become more aware when the Monkey Mind arises by practicing meditation.
When you meditate, you sit down or lie comfortably while focusing on your breath. As thoughts and feelings arise, you try not to engage, interpret or judge but softly put your attention back to breathing. You do this a couple of minutes a day, and you start to feel calmer and more at peace. But it’s not a new state of mind. Every time you meditate, it’s a new experience. Sometimes it’s easy to focus, and sometimes you’re distracted all the time. And that doesn’t matter. The more you practice, the easier you can control your mind and the more you can experience positive change. But where to start?
As I mentioned earlier in this article, Masterclass offers many awesome classes. And there is also a MasterClass about Mindfulness and Meditation taught by Jon Kabat-Zinn. He is the Western mindfulness movement pioneer and has over 40 years of experience in studying and teaching meditation. He teaches the fundamentals of meditation and shows you how to meditate and soothe your thoughts. The absolute expert when it comes to meditation and your best teacher to be more positive in retirement. Another great reason to get yourself a Membership to MasterClass.
4) Use Positive Affirmations
A brain works like a muscle. What you train and focus on gets stronger. So when you constantly have negative thoughts, the muscles and paths that lead to negative thoughts in the brain are strong. And in order to have more positive thoughts, you need to train the muscles in the brain that lead to positive thinking. You can rewire your brain when you keep training it and trick your brain into pushing out negative thinking. And a great exercise for that is using positive affirmations.
Positive affirmations are powerful sentences you repeat telling yourself in the mirror, during meditation, during a walk in the park, or during exercising. It can influence and even transform your subconscious mind. At first, you might not believe what you’re saying, but if you keep repeating, you’ll slowly start to believe these sentences until it becomes a part of you. You have to consciously repeat yourself (at least 30 days) until you feel it on a subconscious level. And then the law of attraction will work for you.
Examples of Positive Affirmations
- I accept myself, and I am true to myself
- I am enough
- I am grateful to be alive
- I forgive myself and know I am not perfect
- I am full of positive energy and welcome positive into my life
- I am in charge of my own happiness
- I believe in myself
5) Practice Gratitude
According to research in positive psychology, practicing gratitude is strongly associated with greater happiness. It gives you more positive emotions, improves health, and you’ll enjoy experiences better.
By being grateful, you acknowledge all the good things in your life. From the big things to the more simple things of your past, the present, and the future. And a helpful tool to cultivate gratitude in retirement is to keep a gratitude journal where you can write about things you’re grateful for every day. This way, you start your day on the right note. And when it becomes more of a habit, you’ll start to feel more positive.
6) Find Humor In Everything
Humor will get you in more positive spirits. This is, in fact, also the conclusion of a study about promoting emotional well-being through the use of humor.
“Results revealed that unlike the control and social groups, the humor group demonstrated a significant increase in several indices of emotional well-being. Specifically, increases occurred with self-efficacy, positive affect, optimism, and perceptions of control, while decreases were found in perceived stress, depression, anxiety, and stress levels.”
So whenever you feel down, make a joke about it or find someone with a great sense of humor that can make you laugh about the situation. Watch a stand-up comedy or something else that makes you laugh. Even in the darkest times, humor can do a lot of healing.
7) Surround Yourself With Positive People
As I mentioned earlier, your environment greatly influences how you feel. And a big part of this environment is the people you surround yourself with. As a parent, you’ve probably been concerned or not wanted your kid to hang out with the wrong crowd. Now the same works for you. Spend as much time with people who uplift you and give you a positive feeling. And most of all, people that fill you up with energy instead of taking your energy.
Some people in your life can drain you. They can make you feel exhausted and unhappy, and limiting your time with them is important. Not because you dislike them, and you don’t have to completely cut them out of your life. But taking care of your energy is a matter of much-needed self-care.
Also, when you have more energy and keep things short with certain people, that meet-up doesn’t affect you as much in a negative way.
8) Exercise Regularly
If you want to feel more positive today? Exercise after you’ve finished reading my article, and you’ll definitely feel a lot better and have a more positive outlook on life. Exercising is a powerful mood booster and a great way to uplift your mind. It’s not only healthy for your body, but it also has many benefits for your mental health. Wonder why?
According to many studies, exercising can prevent and curb feelings of depression. But how does it work?
When you exercise, the brain produces endorphins, dopamine, and adrenaline. These are chemicals that are natural painkillers and mood boosters. And they not only make you feel better, but they also make you feel more confident and help you to concentrate better. You’ll have a sharper mind after exercising. And feeling less anxiety and stress.
When you need guidance and support to exercise more I can highly recommend using the app Aaptiv. An audio personal trainer app with thousands of workouts and classes with the guidance of a trainer who helps you to achieve your goals. It’s suitable for anyone. And the best part is you can do a workout whenever and wherever you want. Because being in charge of your own agenda is the best part about being retired.
9) Do Good
Helping others makes you feel good. And that’s why doing good like donating your time or money to help others will get you in positive spirits quickly. That’s why doing a random act of kindness is so popular and an easy way to uplift your own mood while putting a smile on someone else face. Volunteering is a popular activity for many retirees, and that is because of the many benefits;
- you feel fulfilled when you spend your time in a meaningful way.
- making others happy makes you feel good.
- keeps you busy in retirement.
- helps you to stay social.
- gives you a new purpose in retirement.
If you would like to know more about why retirees love to volunteer, read my article: Why Do Retirees Volunteer?
10) Get In Touch With Nature
Nature is a magical thing. When you look at the stars, your own problems become very small. When you go for a walk in the park, you feel refreshed and energized. A dip in the ocean feels like a detox for the mind and body. That’s why getting in touch with nature and spending a lot of time outdoors will help you stay more positive in retirement. It makes you unthink and shows you different perspectives on life.
We are all creatures of nature, only we have forgotten how to live in harmony with nature.
Nature is magical because of the negative ions in the air. Yes, negative (invisible) molecules positively affect your mood. And these ions can be found everywhere. From the mountains, waterfalls, forests, beaches, etc. When you’ve inhaled them, and they reach your bloodstream, they produce a biochemical reaction in your body. That increases the levels of serotonin, the happy chemical I’ve mentioned earlier and it also helps to reduce stress, weaken feelings of depression, and give you a boost of energy.
So turn off your TV and computer and go for a walk in the park, enjoy the sunset somewhere beautifully, dive into a nearby lake, go camping this weekend or inhale the fresh air somewhere outside. And make this a daily habit to stay positive in retirement, that whenever you feel down, instead of switching on the TV, you put on your hiking shoes and go outside.
Another way to create negative ions in your house is to get a Himalayan salt lamp >>.
Do you want to stay positive? Just smile because smiling has surprisingly many benefits. Doing the facial expression even when you don’t feel like smiling gives your brain the impulse as if you’re genuinely smiling. It releases neuropeptides that help to reduce stress. And the brain releases dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins that work as an anti-depressant.
12) Stop Comparing
“Happiness is found when you stop comparing yourself to other people” – Unknown
“Comparison is the thief of joy” – Theodore Roosevelt
These quotes sum it up perfectly. And you’ve probably experienced yourself as well that you don’t feel better about yourself when you compare yourself to others. Everyone has their own journey, so comparing yourself to someone else is unfair and kills your self-confidence.
Social Media is a slippery slope when it comes to comparing. Therefore try not to engage too much in social media because life on social media isn’t reality. People only share the good stuff and with a nice filter.
The grass isn’t greener somewhere else, the grass is green where you water it. So focus on your own life and, most importantly, the good things in your life.
13) Accept Life As It Is
Often we have a picture in our minds as to how things should be. And when the picture in your mind isn’t your reality, that causes stress and negative thinking. Therefore it is useful to accept life as it is to stay positive in retirement. Life happens, and many things don’t go as planned or as you envisioned in your mind.
That’s why you need to make the most out of it and take ownership of the things that are in your control. And that starts by accepting yourself, accepting your situation, and accepting whatever life throws at you. From that starting point, you can work towards your desired goals and dreams and manifest what you desire.
From a place where you’re not happy and satisfied, you can never manifest what you desire.
14) Set Positive Goals
To stay positive in retirement, you need to have positive goals to work towards.
A goal is something that makes you excited to get out of bed every morning. Something to focus on in the future. We as humans need goals in our lives. It creates a road map for the future and helps to prioritize our time and energy on things we want to achieve. And in retirement, this can be anything you want, because whenever is the time in life to pursue your dreams?
A great exercise to set positive goals is to create a retirement bucket list. It makes you actively think about the biggest dreams in your life and gets you moving towards them. Now is the time to get out of your comfort zone and not let fear hold you back.
And even if that dream seems impossible. Cut it into smaller and manageable pieces that you can accomplish each week, and your dream will get a lot more realistic in a couple of months. It’s what you focus on that will grow and what you attract in life.
15) Take Responsibility
What many people aren’t aware of when they stay in an unhappy state is they are in a victim role. They feel sorry for themselves and continue to complain, and have a glass-is-half-empty mindset.
I did this too for a long while. And the moment where I was aware of this and actively came out of the victim role and took responsibility is where my life changed. The spiral went upwards instead of downwards.
So whatever it is that you’ve gone through, feeling sorry for yourself is not helping you make the most of your retirement. You need to take responsibility for all your life decision and take back control.
For example. You feel sad today. Instead of moping around, you can ask yourself, what can I do now that will make me feel better? And do that immediately. This can be a walk outside, calling up that friend, working on an art project, etc. This is taking responsibility and taking back power. And if you do this on a regular basis, it becomes second nature to you.
16) Be Social
Did you know loneliness is just as deadly as smoking 15 cigarettes daily?
That is because we as humans need social stimulation (every day) to thrive and stay healthy. Yes, we do need alone time to charge up our batteries and stay connected to our souls as well. But being socially active will help you feel happier in retirement.
Even a conversation with a stranger can brighten up your day, or a call from a friend can stimulate you enough socially to make you feel loved and worthy.
17) Make Positive Choices
No matter what life throws at you. You always have a choice. And when you’re aware that there is a moment of decision, make the most positive choice for yourself and others. Even if you think you have no choice, you actually do. Be mindful, take a deep breath, and you’ll see the crossroads.
Knowing how to make positive choices and getting better and more conscious about these moments sets you up on the right track to more positivity in the future.
18) Watch Positive TV/ Films/ Series
As I mentioned earlier in this article, watching the news isn’t the most positive thing to do as well as many other TV shows, films, and series that show a lot of violence and darkness.
It can help to watch positive things to make you feel better, such as sitcoms, romantic comedy, and stand-up comedy, and leave the dark films for when you feel your positive self again.
19) Listen To Positive Music
This also means for what you listen to. Try to listen to as much uplifting music as you can or listen to high-frequency music such as 741HZ or 528HZ that will help you release negative energy.
20) Try New Things
Another way to boost your mood is to do something outside your comfort zone. It’s the place where the magical things in life happen. And it also has many benefits:
Benefits Of Stepping Out Of Your Comfortzone
- You grow and discover a (new) sense of self
- Boosts self-confidence
- You become more adaptable
- Allows for more creativity
- Builds trust (in yourself and thus in the world around you)
- Improves ability to cope with stress and discomfort – lowers the risk of depression
- Less likely to feel bored
For example, you can apply for a new class, try out a new hobby, call up an old friend you haven’t talked to in years or go skydiving. It will boost a positive mindset.
21) Look At The Positive For Every Negative
It is a universal law that for every positive, there is a negative. This means for every problem, there is always a solution. Maybe it isn’t clear at first, but the answer will come to you if you keep searching.
Also, looking at the positive side of everything that happens in your life helps you train your mind to think more positively the next time. And because the path and roads in our brain to negative thinking are carved out deeply, it takes a bit of time to create these new positive roads in the brain as well.
So whenever something bad happens to you, think about the positive things it brings you and the lesson you can learn from it because things happen for a reason.
Every human is here on earth with a soul mission and has the right amount of challenges at this moment in time to grow and expand on a soul level.
When you struggle and life is hard, you’re probably not walking the walk of your purpose in life. Then you have to dive within. Or you need to overcome this obstacle to release karma.
When you are walking the walk of your purpose, then synchronicity happens, things fall into place, and the right people and situations show up in your life.
22) Do The Opposite Of What You’re Use To
Most people who feel sad and depressed stay inactive. They slowly do less and less.
If you want to get out of the rut, try to do the total opposite of what you normally would do in this kind of situation. For example, you normally crawl into bed. The total opposite of that is to go outside for a walk. This often helps you to get out of the negative space.
When you want different results, you need to act differently than you would normally do.
23) Let Go
If you want to get rid of the negative, you need to let go of whatever keeps you down. This can mean letting go of old beliefs, negative emotions, painful past, old arguments, negative judgments about others, and negative thoughts of yourself that don’t serve your higher self.
Just let go and free yourself from negativity.
This means forgiving others and forgiving yourself.
24) Silence The Ego
In the western world, we are controlled by our egos. But ego creates fear, doubt, and worries and is self-critical and judgmental. In short, our ego thrives on negativity. It is better to take back control and let your soul “run the show” because the soul is all about unity, love, compassion, trust, peace, and forgiveness. And to shut down the ego, you need to quit the mind and try to listen to your soul’s voice. Meditation can help you with that.