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The Pursuit of Happiness

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The Declaration of Independence promises all Americans the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness — the last a fine distinction that’s all too easy to overlook. Like the proverbial carrot on a stick, we are encouraged by the Founding Fathers to follow our hearts, even if we never quite attain a state of contentment and joy.joy-world

But there are some surprisingly simple steps all of us — especially seniors who may be feeling low during the upcoming holiday season — can take to increase our level of happiness, say neuroscience researchers at UCLA. Here are four tips you can share with the seniors you serve:

  1. Ask, what am I grateful for? When we’re unhappy, the brain spirals into guilt, shame and worry — which activate the brain’s reward center, but in a negative way (worrying at least makes you feel like you’re doing something.) Going to gratitude boosts the neurotransmitter serotonin, which provides the same feel-good response as Prozac, without the side effects.
  2. Put the bad feeling into words. According to researchers, labeling our negative emotions as sad, anxious, angry, etc., actually reduces their impact. This is why psychologists have long encouraged people to express rather than suppress what they feel.
  3. Decide. Many people are so flummoxed by major life decisions that they waffle until the choice either gets made for them, or the time to make any decision passes. Instead, it’s smarter to make a decision that works for now; you can always tweak it down the road. The perfect moment hardly ever arrives, in any aspect of life: relationships, jobs, whether to get a reverse mortgage now or later…
  4. Reach out and touch someone. Embrace the old phone company slogan, only this time, do it in person. Ask for a hug. Hugs release the hormone and neurotransmitter oxytocin, a natural antidepressant that sends negativity plummeting in the brain. In fact, research shows that receiving five hugs a day for a month generates a huge happiness boost.

Can remote friendships fill the gap? Possibly; at least partially. Retirees 65+ are flocking to Facebook, both to stay connected with grandchildren and to connect with friends who may live far away – or who are less mobile than they once were. But even with video available, touchscreens are a poor substitute for face-to-face human contact. So while the growing senior movement towards technology is a boon for loan originators who now have an additional way to reach reverse mortgage prospects and clients, an office or kitchen table meeting might still be the most beneficial gathering for all.

For more reverse mortgage information, tools and technology visit ReverseFocus.com today.

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