Kerryn Boogaard Kerryn Boogaard
Beverly Goldsmith Beverly Goldsmith
Zoe Bingley-Pullin Zoe Bingley-Pullin

‘Don’t worry, be happy’:

The song that urged us not to worry & be happy was on to something because being happy gives us a reason to get out of bed each day.
By Beverly Goldsmith
Date: November 07 2014
Tags: happiness,
Editor Rating:

What makes you get out of bed in the morning? Is it a job, getting the kids to school, something you’re looking forward to doing, or being useful to others? Having a reason to get out of bed is a huge motivational force to live life - and this is good for your health.

 A plaque I once saw in a gift shop, amusingly described our outlook on life at different stages. “Youth looks ahead. Old age looks back. Middle age looks worried.” 

So how can you be youthful and look optimistically ahead? 

People with “youthful thinking” anticipate being busy, doing interesting things. They happily get out of bed each day. They look ahead. They’re hopeful and excited about life. They don’t have time to be depressed or sick. The good news is, that this state of mind is present at every age.

  • Be enthusiastic. Have a zest for life. Look forward to having life-adventures at every age.
  • Be optimistic – hopeful, positive. Optimism, say scientists, benefits mental wellbeing. 
  • Contemplate what good things life might hold for you. It’s health-producing.
  • Nurture a youthful “look-ahead” outlook on life.

Learn to say no to a “midlife crisis”

People with “middle-age” thinking often question their reasons for getting out of bed. They doubt if they’re making the most of present opportunities, worry about the ones they’ve missed and are anxious about their future. This thought-pattern fits the common perception of a‘midlife crisis’ – a term coined in 1965 by Elliott Jaques to describe adults who come to realise the time they may have left in their life.  

  • Defeat mid-life despondency. Live in the ‘here and now’. Make the most of opportunities that exist.
  • Don’t ruminate, reiterate, or speculate over the what ifs, buts, or maybes.
  • Keep a strong sense of purpose in life. Expect tohave exciting future goals and pleasant life-experiences.
  • Follow this advice from Mary Baker Eddy in Science & Health: “Hold thought steadfastly to the enduring, the good, and the true, and you will bring these into your experience proportionably to their occupancy of your thoughts.”

Overcome old age

“Agedness” can be described as living in the past, recalling occasions for sadness or regret, no longer wanting a reason to get out of bed. University research shows such negativity undermines health and quality of life.

  • Find a reason to get out of bed and enjoy each day with inspiration, energy and conviction.
  • Revitalise mental buoyancy and live life to its fullest.
  • Re-ignite a flickering or seemingly extinguished “life-spark” by holding on to positive thoughts.  
  • Cease dwelling on past hurts or mistakes. Learn to forgive and forget. Move thought onward.
  • Cultivate a “divine spark” that researchers say helps people live longer, healthier lives.
  • Maintain a spiritual “pilot light” through religious practice, belief or attendance. Studies show this provides strong impetus for living. 
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