How to Build Your Emotional Strength before You Retire

Planning for retirement can be challenging because of the changes you will be facing and the many decisions you will be making. By this time in your life, you also know you live in an imperfect world. Fortunately, you have a choice about how to live in an imperfect world.

As you go through this transition, you will tend to be pessimistic or realistically optimistic. Research indicates there are many benefits for being emotionally strong during your Encore Years.

What happens when you tend to be pessimistic? When you have a negative view about people, events and yourself, you are more likely to be irritable and to hold on to anger. This affects your relationships making them less satisfying. In addition, your immune system is weakened which makes you more vulnerable to illness. And finally, when you are pessimistic, you are less alert intellectually. 

Fortunately, there are things you can do to be realistically optimistic and build your emotional strength. It is your responsibility to be at your best. Even when you cannot control a situation or influence those who do, you can choose to manage yourself.

It is possible to build your emotional strength by following these tips:

  1. Identify your top three to five values. These are things that are important to you, i.e. honesty, humor, creativity, independence, etc. Choose to find ways to include them in your life daily.  Live your values.
  2. Choose to make a plan to achieve something that is important to you each day. Even if you only work on it for 15 minutes, it is valuable in building your self-esteem.
  3. Choose to accept what cannot be changed in your life.
  4. Choose to seek out what is good in yourself, in others, in things, and in situations as opposed to what is negative.
  5. Choose to focus on things you are grateful for and appreciate. By doing this, you can change your thought patterns from hopeless to hopeful.
  6. Choose to believe you are not a victim if bad things have happened to you. Victims stay stuck.
  7. Choose to see yourself as a problem solver by seeking solutions.
  8. Choose to be consistent in what you say and do. This is critical in building trust with others.
  9. Choose to seek out positive alternatives to reduce stress in your life. Having fun is recharging even if it is only for a short time.

Life is rarely the way it is suppose to be. Instead, life is the way it is. The way you choose to cope with what cannot be changed makes the difference. It is possible to build your emotional strength and live an engaging and meaningful life. Look for ways to start your day well, and choose to be realistically optimistic about its outcome.

Action step: Choose to do one or two of the tips above today to begin building your emotional strength. What would you add to this list?

Until next time,

Maurine

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