How would you like to age? That seems like a silly question, but really it is quite profound. Aging is inevitable. Growing older is part of everyone's life whether we want to face it or not. 

By asking the question, and finding your answer, you can begin to craft a life that you would like to live. 

You often hear the phrase "grow old gracefully". But implicit in that statement is a sense that you will accept the inevitable indignities of aging without much fuss, allowing yourself to slide into old age without creating a scene. 

How about replacing that idea with joy? When you decide to age joyfully, you accept the idea of growing older without succumbing to the idea of "giving in." 

Instead, you decide to make choices that bring joy and happiness to you, no matter what those choices may be. 

If the idea of aging joyfully appeals to you, here are some ideas to help you structure a life that supports joyful engagement even in old age.

Take Care of Your Body

A body that is painful or is not able to do the things you'd like to do will not age joyfully. Do your best to eat healthfully a majority of the time, being sure to include fruits, vegetables, and protein at most meals. 

Stay active and limber with regular exercise. Swimming, walking, and yoga are all lifetime sports that would serve you well into old age. Staying limber will allow you to enjoy more adventures, whatever they may be.

Take Care of Your Mind

While there is no guarantee that your mind will stay sharp, there are things you can do to load the dice in your favor. 

Harvard Health recommends exercising your brain (much like you exercise your body) with new hobbies, volunteering, and working puzzles. 

From brain support health supplements to using mnemonics to remember names and lists, there are plenty of ways to support your brain. Doing whatever you can to maintain an active mind will help you age joyfully.

Engage in Cultural Activities

Cultural activities like live theater and concerts, as well as social activities like bingo and attending church, can all help keep you connected to the world around you. 

Participating in these kinds of activities is an excellent way to keep your mind sharp and reinforce social ties that enrich your life. 

Reinforcing your feelings of belonging help you to feel more vibrant, and bring happiness to your life.

Reframe the "Empty Nest"

Ditch the idea of the "empty nest". The implication that your home is empty and that its usefulness is over is certainly not joyful. Instead, reframe how you think of your home. 

Coming up with your own nickname for your living situation is a great way to embrace this next phase of your life.

No matter what you decide to call it, your home should be clutter-free and designed to suit your life now. 

Passing on things you no longer need to those who can use them can free up space in your home for you to live better, pursue your interests and entertain houseguests. 

Thinking of having more space as an exciting opportunity instead of an ending is a wonderful way to set your stage for happiness.

Keep Your Sense of Awe

No matter how old you are, the world is full of wonder. Remind yourself that there is still so much to see and do by holding on to your sense of awe. 

Seek out opportunities to expose yourself to things that inspire your sense of amazement: nature walks, museum trips, views through a telescope. 

Even television documentaries can open your eyes to sights and places that help you remember that the world is a wonderful place, filled with wonderful things. 

Keeping a sense of awe and wonder at the world around you is a sure way to age joyfully.


Deciding to age joyfully is a decision you can make now that will affect the rest of your life for the better. Take the steps to ensure that the next phase of your life is as happy as can be.


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