It’s the one thing everyone wants: happiness. Yet, with senior depression rates on the rise, it seems like older adults are having a harder time achieving happiness.

If you think you may be suffering from clinical depression, it’s important to talk to your doctor about your symptoms and treatment options. But if you’re just having a little more trouble than usual feeling happy, there are a few ways you can tackle the “senior blues.”

Here are six tips and habits you can use to boost your happiness.

1. Focus on Positive Thinking

Positive thinking can be a powerful force, and — with the right amount of perspective — you can reframe just about any negative situation in a positive light. It may take some practice, but challenging your own negative thoughts with positive ones can help shift how you approach your entire day.

For instance, if you are struggling through health issues, rather than focusing on how terrible you may feel, try remembering how lucky you are to have the care you need.

2. Start a Gratitude Journal

No matter how tough things get, there is always something to be grateful for — sometimes you just have to try a little harder to find it. Starting a gratitude journal is a great way to remember what matters most.

Start by writing down just five things you’re grateful for each day. It can be something as simple as enjoying your favorite meal or a good chat with a close friend. When you’re feeling down, crack open your gratitude journal and review old entries. Chances are, it’ll bring a smile to your face.

3. Meditate

Don’t knock it until you try it. Studies suggest that meditation can help reduce stress and ease anxiety — two common barriers to happiness. Simply taking a small amount of time each day to practice mindfulness can help you feel at peace all day.

4. Exercise

While the physical health benefits of exercise tend to get the most focus, the mental health benefits are substantial. Establishing a regular exercise routine is not only a great way to practice self-care, but it also gives you the added boost of endorphins to power you through your day.

5. Seek Out Social Activities

When you’re feeling unhappy, making time for social activities can sometimes feel like a chore. However, getting out of the house and seeing loved ones is often a great way to combat the blues and can offer a much-needed boost to your self-esteem. Even if you aren’t feeling up to it, try making plans to meet a friend for coffee — chances are, you’ll be glad you did.

6. Steer Clear of Negative Influences

If you can identify aspects of your life that are making you unhappy, the next step should be distancing yourself from those influences. For instance, if you have a friend whose negative thinking has started to wear off on you, it might help your happiness to spend less time with that person. Remember, you’re in control of how you spend your time, so choose to spend it in ways that lift you up rather than bring you down.

Using the recommendations listed above will help you cultivate healthy habits. By focusing on making happiness a priority, you can boost your mood and enjoy better days. However, if you’ve been making a conscious effort to be happier and still haven’t noticed a change in how you feel, don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor. After all, life is too short to be unhappy.

Want more tips for feeling your best? Get a copy of our free online resource, The Vitality Guide.

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