Harold and Mary Allebach have been wellness practitioners for over half a century. Harold, now in his late
seventies, is a certified reflexologist. Mary specializes in nutrition and health education.

Both exercise daily, work full-time in their healthcare practice, sing in their church choir each week, travel, keep
up with two grown girls and a growing number of grandchildren and great-grandchildren, meanwhile maintaining a
level of vim and vigor that causes people wherever they go to ask, “Where do you get all this energy?”

SeniorZest™, an exclusive eColumn of MyBestYears.com, features information, interviews and encouragement to
help you live life to the fullest, regardless of your age!
Wal-Mart.com USA, LLC
EIGHT KEYS TO HAPPINESS
...Your Choices Help Bring Satisfaction in Life

Somehow the picture of older men and women has emerged as mostly grumpy, dumpy, and frumpy. From our
experience, nothing could be farther from the truth.

In fact, new surveys are showing us some revealing statistics that are welcome news for the fifty-and-older
crowd.

Lately there seems to be plenty of things around to discourage. Are you ready for some good news?And how
does this news translate into ways that can help you become, as the MyBestYears.com motto says, "older,
wiser, healthier and better"?

Here are eight keys:

    Develop a Great Attitude
    The golden years can truly be better. Or maybe it is perception because
    people who have gone through the challenges of fifty or more years
    have a wider viewpoint. Surveys such as a new Pew Research Center
    study shows that Americans grow happier as they age. Even with the
    economy unsettled, Seasoned Seniors are generally happier than
    younger generations. There are many complex reasons, of course, but
    attitude seems to be the most important thing. Winston Churchill once
    said, "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist
    sees the opportunity in every difficulty." It's pretty much up to you
    whether the glass is half full or half empty.

    Keep Your Perspective
    There are several studies from a number of different countries
    around the world, including ones released this year, that show that
    almost everyone goes through a challenging period of mid-life
    crisis when confronted with empty nests, career choices, sexual
    challenges, sickness and the realization (sometimes triggered by
    the death of family members and friends) of the brevity of life. The
    worst seems to hit women around age 40, and for men that point
    often hits around 50. Given time, however, we often have an
    amazing capability to filter through the negatives in order to focus
    on the positives. Consider it heartening, for example, that a 2005
    study showed that Americans from 60 to 98 rated their own ability
    to age successfully at an average of 8.4, with 10 being the
highest. Many of those who were included in the study told of battling numerous obstacles, but they spoke of
realizing that life was essentially what they made it. Happiness, for the most part, takes time, seasoning and
attitude adjustments. Time really is on your side. The life-expectancy numbers are rising by the year. Modern
medicine continues to unravel many secrets of illness and genetic challenges. Preventative medicine is
exploding with new solutions to age-old questions. Seek out information, and learn what works for you.

    Pick Great Genes
    That's impossible, of course, but it points to the fact that genetics do play a
    large part in your happiness. A study in the March 2009 Psychological Science
    Journal boosts the idea that DNA is often an underlying factor in your feelings
    of well being and emotional stability. The best part of many studies that focus
    on the difference between environmental and genetic factors shows that
    people can pick the best from both upon which to build life choices. It really
    does come down to choices. Even though a positive heritage is important,
    there are simply too many illustrations throughout history of people who came
    from horrible family situations who decided to begin a new heritage. Be aware
    of your genetic weaknesses and strengths. You can’t choose your genes, of
    course, but you can be alert to tendencies that run in your family and seek to
    overcome those traits.

    Work Out Regularly
    Resolve to get more fit and healthier than ever before. Regardless of where you are right
    now—good, bad or in-between—you can get better. Study after study of people from all age
    groups, even those in their nineties, show that those who follow a program of health and
    fitness tend to live longer and with a better quality of life. Exercise also helps you battle the
    depression, loneliness and vulnerability that can accompany aging by burning off cortisol
    (produced naturally by the adrenal glands when angry or scared, often increasing blood
    pressure and blood sugar while weaking the immune response) and releasing endorphins
    (the body's natural pain relievers) into the bloodstream. As you challenge your body to stay
    fit and balanced, your overall sense of well being and happiness naturally rises.

    Eat to Be Happy
    Now, this isn't an endorsement of bad eating habits. Instead, it is an
    encouragement to help you realize that you really are what you eat, especially
    as you develop better habits. Dr. Michael Roizen, in his powerful book, The
    RealAge Diet, says that by doing something as simple as eating fish two times
    a week can actually make you look and feel younger. The same can happen
    with a diet filled with fresh fruits and vegetables, whole-grain breads, beans
    and brown rice. He and co-author Dr. John La Puma show how they have
    helped many reverse aging by changing lifestyle choices. They point toward
    fifty-one food choices and strategies that are age busters. Learn them. Live
    them. Love them. Happiness and contentment are a wonderful by-product.

    Plan for the Future
    Avoiding tomorrow tends to cause a build-up of dissatisfaction and unhappiness. Update
    your will. Make financial plans. Seek the advice of competent legal and financial
    professionals, but ultimately make sure that you are making decisions that will best for you
    and your loved ones. Be sure to inform your loved ones of your decisions. Better yet,
    include them in your choices and seek their input on your plans. Denying reality never
    seems to help. Facing the future does.

    Grow Your Faith
    Study after study shows that people who believe in God and actively practice their
    faith are generally much happier and able to handle life's challenges. Even medical
    studies (including several from the prestigious Duke University) show that prayer
    plays a large role in overcoming illness and injuries. The best part is that it is never
    too late to begin your walk with God. (Click here for more information about
    beginning that new walk.) Nor is it ever too late to grow your faith.

    Be a Giver
    We have already quoted Winston Churchill on the importance of a good
    attitude. He also said something as relevant about giving: "You make a
    living by what you get, you make a life by what you give."

    Sharing yourself and what you have is one of the key components of
    happiness. Giving brings purpose.

    What do you have to give? Time? Talents? Concern? Money? Help?
    Attention?

There are people of all ages around you whose lives could be changed forever through you. You have a life of
seasoning and experience. Whom can you help? What can you give? Where can you volunteer?

You may be surprised at how your selfless acts can begin to help you more than you can imagine!

KEYS
We have mentioned eight keys to happiness. There are many
more. What is important to notice is that keys are only effective
when you actually use them to unlock the doors in front of you.

Opening those locks requires effort. Sometimes it requires
patience and expertise. Your efforts, however, can open new
vistas to all that you desire.

Do you want to be happy? There are lots of keys.
The choices are up to you!
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