As life expectancies continue to increase, the teachings of Shirley Hodes, who recently celebrated her 107th birthday, take on particular resonance. So what is his secret? Let’s review his habits with Amélie Boukhobza, clinical psychologist.
Accepting having unfulfilled dreams
“Shirley Hodes points out that not everyone sees their dreams come true, and that’s completely normal! She advises finding happiness in the little things of everyday life and appreciating what you already have, rather than focusing only on big dreams. This is, in my opinion, a key aspect of resilience. Learning to appreciate what we have, rather than lamenting what has not been, remains fundamental to well-being“, says the expert.
Finding satisfaction in what is accessible
“Being happy with who you are and what you can expect from yourself is crucial. Finding fulfillment in action allows you to give meaning to your life, to be part of the present and to experience happiness. We must take every opportunity head on!“, develops the psychologist.
Focus on the positive
Positivity is indeed an active choice. “Almost an “act of faith” towards oneself“, relates Amélie Boukhobza.
“Faced with negative thoughts, Shirley Hodes reminds us, resilience is the key. Fighting against tendencies to compare, complain and criticize helps maintain our confidence. How we interpret experiences has a significant impact on well-being. Because optimism is courageous and leads to success… and health! Optimism is dopaminergic, it activates the reward circuit and gives even more energy“, further specifies the expert.
“For family, friends, and even for the simple pleasures of everyday life. This is an excellent exercise that I regularly recommend to my patients. How ? By keeping a gratitude journal for example: write down 3 gratitudes every day, 3 things for which you are grateful. Not great joys, but little things that sometimes make all the difference: a smile, a gesture…“, she explains.
Stay curious and engaged
This is one of the secrets of happy longevity.
“Curiosity and engagement are vital aspects of active aging. They keep the mind sharp and promote a continuous connection with the world around us, a key element in avoiding social isolation among the elderly, but not only that!“, assures the specialist.
Good in his body, good in his head!
Accept what is inevitable
Life doesn’t last forever. Shirley Hodes offers a lesson in wisdom on this subject.
“Apprehend from a distance what depends on external circumstances against which we can do nothing. Coming to terms with it is not a renunciation and does not belong to fatalism. On the contrary, deliverance and tranquility of the soul allow us to achieve a certain detachment. So, act on what is possible, put your strengths and efforts to useful ends and accept the external elements on which you cannot act. We will live happier!“, concludes Amélie Boukhobza, not without a certain enthusiasm.