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Achieve Greater Happiness as You Age - How to Create Your Happiness

Written by Paul Wolf

How to Enjoy Your Happiness Edge

Here's some advice to make sure your happiness edge is working for you.

Avoid Extreme Forms of Thinking
The young are prone to mentally flying off the handle. They "catastrophize" a snub from a friend, a critical remark from a boss or a bad grade on an exam, according to cognitive therapist Michael Edelstein."Some people just get nuttier as they get older, but if you try to live rationally, you can see every event in all its complexity," Edelstein says.

Give Up Impossible Dreams
Living in dreamland is not a prescription for happiness."Young people place impossible demands on the world by insisting I must never be bored and life must always be exciting," Edelstein says. "As you get older, your preferences are supposed to be more in line with reality."

Aligning yourself with reality can mean avoiding people and things that make you pull your hair out, and directing your energy toward what gives you satisfaction.

Dream the Possible Dreams
Chasing reasonable goals gives life meaning.We live in exciting times. Age has become less of a factor in determining whether people can change careers, launch businesses, start families and new relationships, or otherwise reinvent themselves.

Become Master of the World,Your World
Knowledge and control are key elements in making stress work for you, not against you, according to Benno Roozendaal, a Ph.D. researcher with the University of California's Center for Neurobiology of Learning and Memory in Irvine.

Stress that is accompanied by a feeling of competence is the heart and soul of achievement and even happiness. At midlife, you know quite a bit more about the world and your options.

Choose Happiness
Young and old can make the decision that you are "going to be happy no matter what. When you are older, you are more likely to make the decision stick," says cognitive therapist Kathleen Burton.

No one is born knowing the vital relationship between attitude and happiness. The fortunate ones in life, no matter what their age, discover it early and remember it often.

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