Thursday, April 1, 2010

Boomers Bridge the Generation Gap, Part Three

Boomers are the bridge. We connect people, old and young. But sometimes we feel worn and splintered, walked on from both sides.

We need to stop traffic and repair the bridge.

Sonja Lyubomirsky, a research scientist and author, offers help. In her highly documented and readable book, The How of Happiness, she distills years of empirical research on the science of happiness.

She lists 10 ways to repair our bridges. In the last post, we discussed four. Here are the rest.

Happy people:

5. Take care of their body. When we feel like we're under siege, it's not the time to go for the Haagen Daas.
6. Nurture social relationships.Other people offer perspective, hope and humor. That's the rationale behind the success of support groups for family members of people suffering from Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and other diseases. But most any activity involving community can nurture us, from golfing to auditing classes at the community college to enjoying coffee with friends.
7. Learn to forgive. When we fail to forgive, we're more likely to seek revenge or avoid certain people altogether, Lyubomirsky says. Either option steels joy. Forgiveness involves grieving our losses: the what's, the how's and the why's. And then letting go and seizing happiness.
8. Increase their "flow" experiences. Lyubomirsky describes "flow" activities as those in which we lose sense of time: fishing? sewing? reading? gardening? Whatever floats your boat, go for it. These pastimes soothe our souls and prepare us for the next day.
9. Savor life's joys.Enjoying sunsets, walks with the dog and simple pleasures help us renew and repair.
10. Commit to goals. Keeping promises and seeing things through brings joy and strengthens our foundation.

When you're feeling stepped on by both generations, what do you do? Tell us.

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