Cornerstone Mission for Integral Elders.
“Psychological wealth includes life satisfaction, the feeling that life is full of meaning, a sense of engagement in interesting activities, the pursuit of important goals, the experience of positive emotional feelings, and a sense of spirituality that connects people to things larger than themselves.”
How to Improve Life Satisfaction
So, can you improve your life satisfaction?
If you are not as satisfied with your life as you would like to be, there are things you can do to change this.
There are many factors associated with life satisfaction. Work on improving or enhancing these factors, and you will find that your life satisfaction improves at the same time.
Many of us fear getting old more than death itself.
One of the great successes of modern civilisation is the virtual eradication of injury and disease in childhood.
This leads to longevity. It is ironic that as we work hard to avoid dying, we forget that living longer means getting older.
Instead of celebrating this success our solution to getting old has been denial — we hope to die before needing to enter a nursing home.
But we should be working towards making our society and our aged care systems better.
We must commit to action to hold ourselves, our parliament, aged care, legal and social structures to account.
These actions include respecting older people, acknowledging they have the same rights as everyone else, enacting and enforcing laws to better protect them from abuse or exploitation, supporting victims to navigate the legal system and restitution so survivors have a life worth living.
Your future self, assuming you age successfully, will be the beneficiary.
These five questions to help guide you on boosting your life satisfaction. These questions are grounded in research and sure to at least give you something to think about:
- Do you try new experiences? Trying new things and breaking out of your routine is a great way to improve your satisfaction with life.
- Do you try your hardest in everything you do? Committing yourself to whatever you do 100% (or as close as you can get) will give you a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction that mindless work and passive pleasures simply can’t deliver.
- Do you enjoy spending time with other people? “No man is an island,” after all! Even the most introverted among us need at least a few quality connections and occasional social interactions to feel happy with their life.
- In your everyday interactions, do you approach people with a desire to get along? Related to getting out and meeting people, it’s important that those interactions are positive. Make an effort to be more positive and agreeable to ensure that you have the right kinds of interactions.
- Are you easily upset by different kinds of problems? Struggling with frequent anxiety, sadness, guilt, shame, or anger can easily drag you down. Set a goal to become a happier, more resilient person and work towards it. If you’re not sure how to go about it, set up some time with a therapist or counselor to discuss.
Use these five questions to figure out where there is space for more satisfaction in your life.
Professor Joseph E Ibrahim is from Monash University’s Health Law and Ageing Research Unit.