Your life is not a rehearsal for another; it’s the real thing happening here and now. And sadly, the show may be over before you can even figure out what you are doing here. So, if you have finite days to spend in this temporary space, how do you make it count?
You should always think of your life at every point. Is this the best you can be? What are you feeding yourself? What kind of friends do you hang out with? Do you take care of your body and mind? Are you making the right choices about you?
With stress levels rising to astronomical levels due to the fast-paced, high-pressure lifestyle of the 21st century, we have to take extra care of ourselves consciously. In the Blue Zones of this world, people live for more than 90 years and even up to 100 and beyond free of chronic health problems. These societies have a culture of eating healthy, wholesome foods, unlike the American diet with its overdose of sugar and unhealthy fats.
The sad reality of our society is that we live in the fast lane, with junk food as our primary source of nutrition and hectic workloads that make chronic stress and blood pressure a general health problem. Diabetes, heart diseases, and many other chronic diseases continue to ravage the population. And yet, we continue on this path to destruction.
But it doesn't have to be this bad. You can live a long healthy life free of chronic diseases if you want to. People who live extraordinarily long and healthy lives without dependence on medication do things differently than the rest of us.
In this post, you will learn about what people in the longest living societies do that we are not doing. Inculcate these strategies, and you will be on your way to living a healthy, long and fulfilled life.
In most societies where people live to be over 100, walking is the predominant means of locomotion. People walk to the groceries store, school, around the neighborhood, hike mountains, take long wilderness treks and engage in activities that require movement.
They are not slouched in a chair pecking away at their computer workstation on end. While our modern office work requires prolonged sitting at our computers, it is essential to create time during the day to take short breaks to move and exercise our body. Create time to walk around the office block every hour or during lunch break, take long hikes during the weekend, promenade around the neighborhood or run around with your dog in the park and other physically engaging activities.
Eat a Wholesome Natural Diet
People in these societies tend to follow a Mediterranean-styled diet consisting of vegetables, fruits, fish, and nuts while avoiding processed low-quality food. Most people don't know that some foods such as milk, cheese, and grains which they consider as natural are highly processed. It’s essential that we eat food that is natural and more compatible with the body to create a harmonious and healthier existence.
Build a Support Group
Societies that have a large concentration of old people tend to have social circles where they come together to share meals, games and have good, hearty conversations. The advent of social media has almost entirely eroded the already fragile social bond we used to share a few years ago. Now, everybody is glued to smartphones refreshing their social account feeds every few minutes. While people can now keep tabs easily with friends and family, they have lost touch with them in reality.
Talking to a friend on the phone is already going out of fashion these days as our addiction to Facebook and Twitter, and other sources of instant entertainment continue unabated. Rather than dwell in the virtual but soul-sucking online environment, connect physically with your social circle by meeting at social functions. The best time of our lives are those spent in the company of our loved ones. Unfortunately, social media time does not count.
Find Your Life's Purpose
People in societies where they live long and healthy lives usually have a sense of purpose to their existence. They are not carrying on like androids. In our case, we live for the sake of living, with no sense of fulfillment or stopping to take stock of our lives. Fulfillment comes in different forms. Things like volunteering, a life of service, sports, helping others fix problems and getting ahead with their lives, mentoring, and extracurricular activities can help you discover your real purpose in life. Living is not enough; you need to have a purpose that makes your presence on Earth worthwhile.
During this holiday season remember to be grateful for what you have, not thinking about what you don’t have. Tomorrow, wake up in the morning and say or think about something that you are grateful for and I promise your day will start off with a much better outlook. Have an inspiring day!
Yours in health,
Dr. Brian Wallace