Middle-aged women should experience happy, exciting lives well into their later years, but that’s not what we usually hear.
The emphasis is mostly on limitations women experience as they get older. However, many women are finally starting to realize that the 40s can be the happiest time.
With a few mindset hacks, it is possible to cultivate habits that will create lasting happiness after 40.
Take actress and lifestyle guru Gwyneth Paltrow, 46, who says that ”turning 40 feels more like an upgrade”.
The recently married actress says you begin to truly love, accept yourself, and learn how to forgive your missteps in your 40s.
Actresses Courteney Cox, 54, and Cameron Diaz, 46, both admitted to being scared of turning 40. But they eventually revealed they are happier, healthier, and more capable than they have ever been.
Changing Your Mindset Helps You Achieve Happiness After 40
Now, we all have different explanations of what happiness means to us. But why are some women over 40 leading a happy, satisfying life, yet for others, midlife is filled with stress, worry, and unhappiness?
Psychologists and researchers tell us what most of us already know; that the easiest way to achieve lasting happiness is to have the right positive mindset.
Changing your negative mentality to a more positive one is essential to achieving happiness. But sometimes your inner voice just doesn’t get it.
Regardless of what issues you are grappling with, some simple mindset hacks can help you achieve calmness and happiness every day.
7 MINDSET HACKS TO LASTING HAPPINESS AFTER 40
#1. Practice Mindfulness Throughout the Day
Do you spend the entire time thinking about work, bills, whether you look good, what you’ll wear tomorrow, and every other possible scenario in your life, even when you are taking a relaxing’ walk at the park?
That’s how it is for most people.
The average woman spends 47% of her time thinking about other things than what she is doing. Also, we are less happy when our minds are wondering.
When your mind switches back and forth between different thoughts the whole day, it increases your mental overload causing more stress and anxiety.
Learning how to practice mindfulness throughout the day helps you control your thoughts, enabling you to lead a happy, harmonious life.
Mindfulness focuses on the here and now, and many experts agree that women are happier when they focus on the present moment.
Keep in mind, competing urgencies and negative thoughts will fight for your attention. When those thoughts pop up in your mind, take deep breaths, pay attention to objects around you, relax, and sit upright.
Keep returning your attention to the present over and over again. With consistent practice, you will be able to control your thoughts and moods.
#2. Meditate Daily
Often, women over 40 have to juggle between a demanding job, family, exercise, chores, social life, and many other daily tasks.
You may feel you have little time to spare, but meditation will go a long way in reducing the daily stresses of life and making you happier.
Meditating in the evening helps you get rid of built-up stress throughout the day while morning meditation improves your focus, confidence, and self-esteem throughout the day.
Whether you do it in the morning or evening, meditation will help you filter negative thoughts and mental clutter, causing unhappiness, physiological stress, and anxiety. It also enhances your mindfulness throughout the day.
Find a quiet place, sit with a straight spine, breathe deeply, and focus on your breath curve. Do this for 10 minutes, or however long you can focus on your breathing.
Relaxing your mind and body can be challenging, especially for beginners. If your mind keeps wandering, don’t stress about it.
It takes practice, and you will get better at it with time.
You can also use hemp oil to help you relax your body and mind. Hemp oil helps you distress and relax, giving you more clarity and peace of mind during meditation.
#3. Spend More of Your Time Around Happy People
The people you surround yourself with will either make you happier or drain you.
Remember the famous Jim Rohn quote, ”Who are the average of 5 people you spend most of your time with’‘.
Well, research has backed it up by proving the odds of you being happy increases by 15% if your direct social network is comfortable too.
Just spending time with happy friends, family, and colleagues can make a big difference in your well-being, including happiness.
Spend some more time improving on relationships with people who make you naturally happier.
#4. Learn to Choose Good Enough Over Perfect
Women are naturally better at multitasking, so we tend to have more things we try to be good at. Sadly, that also means we have more things to worry about.
Whether in our careers or family life, we want to be successful at everything we do. But life rarely works out exactly as we want it to, and a must-have the best’ attitude magnifies feelings of dissatisfaction in our lives.
If you always blow a fuse when things don’t turn out the way you expected them to, then your midlife is the perfect time to learn how to take it easy. Besides, there will always be something you could have done better.
There is nothing wrong with high standards; you can be a high achiever and still appreciate that not everything is under your control. To achieve lasting happiness, learn to be content with the present and value the efforts you put in your family, career, and relationships.
#5. Change your Negative Mentality About Middle-Age
Pamela, 61, says she realized that she has always cared for other people and forgotten about herself. She, therefore, decided to reinvent herself.
At 61, she is learning new things every day; she travels often, is learning a new language, has taken up painting, has daily tai chi exercises, and has even started her travel blog.
We often talk about midlife and aging in terms of less; less money, less good health, fewer friends, less mobility, less sex, etc. But it is not a time of loss.
To achieve lasting happiness after 40, we have to rebel against all those frightening middle age myths.
A recent BBC study also proved that the age you feel means more than your actual age (Yes, 40 is the new 20 if you think so).
Your subjective age impacts various aspects of your life, including your health and happiness. There are so many opportunities to explore, and with a healthy lifestyle, you can still lead a vibrant, exciting life long after mid-life.
#6. Treat Yourself as You Would Treat a Very Good Friend
The golden rule goes we should treat other people as we would like them to treat us. But, hopefully, we won’t treat half as badly as we treat ourselves sometimes.
The average woman criticizes herself at least eight times a day. And 40% of women start criticizing themselves as early as 9:30 AM.
Self-doubt is our appearance, weight, careers, finances, and parenting are the significant causes we are so unkind to ourselves.
The interesting thing is we are kinder to our friends than we are to ourselves. When your friends go through something tough in life, don’t you reassure them of your support and care?
Be mindful and listen to what you are telling yourself. When you recognize those negative judgy thoughts, ask yourself whether you would say those words to a close friend.
#7. Give and Keep Giving
Generosity will make you happier. Although, the effect doesn’t last when used deliberately to make yourself feel happy. To have a real impact on your happiness and mood, it has to be genuine with no ulterior motives.
But you need not become a self-sacrificing martyr to be happy- even just promising to be helpful will trigger happiness related changes in your brain.
Learn to practice small doses of generosity every day.
The point is to get started, and soon it will have a significant impact on your character.
Having the right mindset can make you happier and even more energized after 40. Think about how you spend your time and whether the things you do daily will help you achieve lasting happiness.