What Centenarians know about longevity that we don’t.
“Since emotions run every system in the body, don’t underestimate their power to treat and heal. ” Candace Pert
There’s one thing most of us miss when it comes to our health.
We’re busy. Life’s full. And this something gets mostly ignored.
Centenarians and those who live in the “Blue Zones” – areas of the world where people live longer and healthier than the rest of us, know it instinctively.
It’s nothing extraordinary.
It doesn’t take a special skill, or diet, or some genetic variant.
How they live might give you a clue.
They live simple lives…
- Spend time with family and friends.
- Close shop for lunch – sometimes for hours. Sometimes they even forget to come back!
- Love the outdoors and get outside a lot.
- Don’t stress much.
- Work to support themselves – not to become rich and famous.
Back to basics
People in the Blue Zones have a knack for taking care of their basic human need for contentment. Long lunches with friends and family. Naps when tired. Wine with meals without a hint of guilt. Hard work followed by robust play. Always making time for the things they value and love.
Jeanne Louise Calment, who lived to the ripe old age of 122, continued her favorite pastime activities of fencing until she was 85 and cycling until she was 100. Age be damned!
We, on the other hand, have been conditioned to work our butts off and wait till 65 to enjoy the fruits of labor. Who’s idea was that, anyway?
How do you want to live?
In his commencement speech at Stanford, Steve Jobs said this:
“If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”
Might get you to thinking about what really matters.
If today were the last day of your life, would you live the same as you do now?
When you’re broken, so is everyone around you.
At a talk I recently gave, I asked the audience how many of them considered their needs before tending to family, friends, work, obligations, community, etc. Dead silence.
We’re quick to see to the needs of others.
Not so good at taking care of ourselves.
And when you’re broken, sick, tired, weak, sad, depressed, anxious, chronically overextended, unhappy, and angry, you’re no damn good to anyone around you.
Stop playing the martyr and give yourself a break!
Here’s a simple way to start.
Do something every day that makes you smile.
Make it something easy. (If it’s easy, you may actually do it.)
Something to give you a little slice of contentment.
- Take a few minutes to soak in the morning sun before you rush off to work.
- Start a simple 5-minute quiet time/meditation practice.
- Get out of your office for lunch rather than cramming food in at your desk.
- Explore the park across town you’ve never stepped foot in.
- Get outside at night to check out the full moon.
- Grab a bouquet of flowers for yourself on your way to work.
- Reconnect with that friend you haven’t seen in ages.
- Stop the next time you see an amazing sunset and take it in.
And then…. Allow yourself to feel the pleasure of the moment.
Let it sink in.
Never underestimate the power of your feelings.
How you feel day to day about life affects every biological process in your body.
Candace Pert, a brilliant scientist and the first to link our feelings and emotions to our physical health, speaks of the power of your feelings to make you sick or to heal you,
Negative emotions take the body in a downward spiral, says Bruce Lipton, Ph.D., another of the pioneers in the science of mind and body, while feelings of love, gratitude, and contentment strengthen it and can lead to a longer and stronger life.
Even the rational scientific types are diving into this mind/body research, with surprising findings on the deep connection between our thoughts and feelings and our health and life expectancy.
How you feel matters!
How you feel is a choice – one that only you get to make.
Will you take time for yourself? Time to do the things you love.
The choice is yours.
With Love, ♥
Want some help? Email me @ firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll help get you on the path to a longer and stronger life.