Laughter is good for us. It has been suggested that adults only laugh 12-15 times a day while children laugh from 200 to 400 times. The message for those of us in the retirement zone (preparing for or in retirement) is: laugh more.
Work plays a huge role in our daily life, and the loss of the ‘substance and challenge of work’; the relationship with colleagues; the place to go to work; and the daily routines can ‘leave a gaping hole, causing people to wonder, with so much new-found spare time, whether they matter anymore’.
We need to matter in retirement. Knowing the problem before retirement means we can work on it before we get there, either by working on things that will continue to help us matter in retirement, or having a plan to make sure we will matter then.
Knowing that you ‘matter’ is important at any stage of life, but at retirement, some of the things that have given you a sense that you matter—particularly your job—are gone. On things that matter, one Swiss research paper concluded: ‘Mattering implies that people are not only connected to others, but that they feel that they are important to others.’
Living a life with meaning is more important than pursuing happiness. That’s the conclusion of Emily Esfahani Smith, author of The Power of Meaning. She says, ‘So many of the people that I know and admire aren’t focused on pursuing their own personal happiness. They’re focused on leading meaningful lives and what they can do for others.’
What I mean by the question is this: If all the good die young, how come you and I have been around long enough to be interested in retirement? We aren’t young. Does that make us not good—as in bad or evil?
It’s healthy to laugh. At the Let’s Laugh website you will find a whole list of health benefits of laughter. These include: boosting the immune system, reducing the risk of heart disease, decreasing stress, reducing blood pressure, it can even be a mild antidepressant. These are benefits worth having. Each one of them.
During Psychology Week in November, a Wellbeing Survey was published that used Martin Seligman’s five pillars underpinning the ‘flourishing life’ to comment on wellbeing. The survey also revealed a number of self-care activities that help in building wellbeing.
The goal in life should be to flourish. That’s what psychologist and founder of positive psychology, Martin Seligman, says. During Psychology Week in November, an Australian Wellbeing Survey was published that used his five pillars underpinning the ‘flourishing life’ to comment on wellbeing.